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House Judiciary Committee Passes 9/11 Victims Fund Bill After Jon Stewart’s Plea to Congress

Bill will move to House for a full vote next month

The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday unanimously approved a bill to authorize additional funding for the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund until 2090, according to CNN. The bill now moves to the House for a full vote next month.

The House panel’s vote comes one day after former “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart slammed members of Congress for skipping a subcommittee hearing about the fund, which is set to expire next year, and pleaded to extend funding for the first responders affected by the September 11, 2001 attacks.

“Your indifference cost these men and women their most valuable commodity: Time!” Stewart said, lambasting the mostly-empty committee hearing. “What an incredible metaphor this room is for the entire process that getting health care 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.”

Stewart continued: “Shameful. 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.”

“Every sick responder and survivor should be treated with the same dignity and compassion,” House Judiciary chairman Jerry Nadler, a Democrat from New York, said after the bill passed the House panel Wednesday, according to CNN. “All responders and survivors, whether they got sick in 2015 or will get sick in 2025 or 2035, should be properly compensated. Congress must act to make that happen.”