Jon Stewart Lobbies for 9/11 First Responder Benefits

Jon Stewart joined 9/11 first responders for a rally at the US Capitol on Wednesday, September 16, lobbying Congress to renew health benefits for the firefighters and police who responded to the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, 2001. Stewart, who retired as host of The Daily Show last month, has lobbied for government health benefits since before the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act was passed by Congress in 2010.

Dressed in a firefighter union shirt, Stewart said he was embarrassed for the country and New York that those who had served have to come to Washington to fight for health benefits. “No one had to lobby you to rush to those towers on that day,” he said. “I was living in downtown Manhattan, and I can never repay the debt to the first responders who came down and brought stability and humanity, not just to lower Manhattan, but to all of New York City, and to the entire country. And so I am sorry, and I apologize, and hopefully we’ll never have to do this again.”

“This is insanity,” he said. “These illnesses they have are not on five-year cycles. They are permanent illnesses causing permanent damage.”

Stewart also warned the first responders that they could possibly be exposed to “toxic levels of bullshit.” Credit: YouTube/Kirsten E. Gillibrand