Comedian and former Daily Show host Jon Stewart made a rare public appearance on Tuesday, lashing out at lawmakers for dropping the ball on funding the program dedicated to taking care of victims of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
Speaking at a poorly attended House Judiciary Committee hearing on “The Need to Reauthorize the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund,” Stewart—a longtime advocate for the victims of 9/11—earned a standing ovation from audience members after pointing out what “an incredible metaphor this room is for the entire process that getting healthcare and benefits for 9/11 first responders has come to.”
“A filled room of 9/11 first responders and in front of me, a nearly empty Congress,” Stewart continued.
Calling congressional inertia “an embarrassment to the country and a stain on the institution,” Stewart upbraided lawmakers who were no-shows, telling them they should “be ashamed of yourselves.”
“But you won’t be,” Stewart continued. “Because accountability doesn’t appear to be something that occurs in this chamber.”
Last month, Stewart praised the Trump administration for its handling of the Sept. 11 victims fund, saying the Justice Department was “doing a good job” and that “claims are moving through faster, and the awards are coming through.”