Jon Stewart lobbies legislators to extend 9/11 first responders health, compensation bill

Sep 16, 2015
In The News

WASHINGTON — Comedian Jon Stewart rallied 9/11 first responders Wednesday by saying sorry.

“I am here today basically to apologize to all these men and women, that you had to come down here today,” Stewart said. “I am embarrassed for our country. I am embarrassed for New York.”

The former “Daily Show” host, wearing a gray beard and a blue FDNY shirt, joined 150 current and former cops and firefighters at Congress to lobby lawmakers to permanently extend the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which provides health screening and coverage for responders facing illness resulting from toxic air around Ground Zero.

“Nobody had to lobby you to rush to those towers that day,” Stewart said, before issuing a warning.

“Today on the Hill you will be exposed to possibly toxic levels of bulls--t and arrogance,” he said.

Advocates for extending the Zadroga Act, including Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan), Jerrold Nadler (D-Manhattan), Peter King (R-Long Island) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand joined Stewart at the event.

The bill has more than 145 House sponsors and senators from 41 states backing it, but no commitment from GOP leaders to bring it to the House or Senate floor.