Jon Stewart is angry with the U.S. government.
The former “Daily Show” host appeared Tuesday before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee for a hearing on the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, delivering a blistering, passionate testimony calling out the lawmakers in the room.
“Your indifference cost these men and women their most valuable commodity: Time!,” Stewart said before the largely empty committee. “What an incredible metaphor this room is for the entire process that getting healthcare and benefits for 9/11 first responders has come to. Behind me, a filled room of 9/11 first responders and in front of me, a nearly empty Congress. Sick and dying, they brought themselves down here to speak. To no one.”
According to the Fund’s website, it was created in order to “provide compensation for any individual (or a personal representative of a deceased individual) who suffered physical harm or was killed as a result of the terrorist-related aircraft crashes of Sept. 11, 2001 or the debris removal efforts that took place in the immediate aftermath of those crashes.”
“Shameful,” Stewart continued. “It’s an embarrassment to the country, and it is a stain on this institution. And you should be ashamed of yourselves for those that aren’t here, but you won’t be, because accountability doesn’t appear to be something that occurs in this chamber.”
Stewart has for years been a strong advocate for bills funding health and other services for 9/11 victims and first responders.
The comedian’s testimony garnered high praise on social media, including from celebs like, Zoe Saldana, Chris Evans, Alyssa Milano, Jimmy Kimmel and Arnold Schwarzenegger, who promised Stewart that he’s got his back: