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Jon Stewart’s ‘Daily Show’ Return: Shames Congress — Pass Healthcare for 9/11 Heroes

Tue, December 8, 2015 11:10am EDT by Add first Comment
Jon Stewart Returns Daily Show
Courtesy of Comedy Central

There are a lot of Congress members who tweet thanks to the heroes of 9/11 on the anniversary of the attacks, but when it comes to helping them with their bills for terrible health issues they’ve endured — lawmakers have a case of amnesia. Jon Stewart did his best on ‘The Daily Show’ to push Congress to extend benefits for the first responders in the Zadroga Act.

Jon Stewart, 53, returned to The Daily Show on Dec. 7 with fire in his heart and anger in his words. The former host was fed up with Congress member callously forgetting the heroic first responders who risked their lives on 9/11. With hundreds of these men and women suffering cancer and other diseases caused by the rubble of the World Trade Towers, Jon blasted Congress and Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell as hypocrites for not extending their benefits.

“These first responders, many sick with cancers and pulmonary diseases, have had to travel at their own expense to Washington, D.C., hundreds of time, to plead for our government to do the right thing.” Jon said, in his first Daily Show appearance since handing the show over to Trevor Noah.

There were two specific politicians Jon took aim at during his return: House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Mitch McConnell. Jon blamed the Republican leaders for holding up the Zadroga Reauthorization Act. While Jon thinks Paul will help pass the bill because, “ultimately, he is still human,” Jon doesn’t have faith in Paul’s Senate counterpart.

“[Mitch McConnell] has been an enormous obstacle, unwilling to move the bill forward for purely political reasons,” Jon said. “[He] doesn’t give a sh*t about anything but politics.” Jon then pointed out how Mitch pulled funding for the Zadroga act out of a transportation bill, which was passed last week, when he didn’t get concessions about loosening oil export regulations.

Jon famously championed the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act in 2010, but the original bill expired in September, according to Deadline. Jon was furious at this, even heading down to Washington D.C. with some first responders to drum up support for the Zadroga Reauthorization act. When the former host couldn’t find any, he said “My only conclusion is the people of Congress are not as good of people as the people who are first responders.”

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In the second half of Jon’s appearance, he tried to recreate the panel of 9/11 first responders that helped get the act passed in 2010. However, out of the men who originally met with Jon, two were seriously ill and one had passed away, according to Rolling Stone. Only Kenny Specht could make it, and he said it was downright shameful for politicians to celebrate the heroes of 9/11 without lifting a finger to take care of them. Jon, Trevor and Kenny then begged the American people to demand congress to pass the Zadroga Reauthorization Act — adding the hashtag #WorstResponders.

Do you think Congress will do the right thing and pass the Zadroga Reauthorization act, HollywoodLifers? Or is Jon right and the Republican leaders don’t care about anything but politics?