Left-wing comedian Jon Stewart has shamed US politicians who failed to show up to hear the testimony of September 11 WTC attack survivors and labelled it “an embarrassment to the country”.
Pointing out the empty seats in the hearing room of the House Judiciary Committee, Steward said that the “sick and dying” 9/11 first responders and their families had travelled far and wide to come to Washington to be heard, only to be ignored by politicians.
He said that the minimal attendance by politicians was “an embarrassment to the country and a stain on this institution” and added that the “disrespect” being shown to first responders, many of whom suffer respiratory ailments as a result of their heroism, was “utterly unacceptable”.
Both Democrat and Republican politicians have said they were monitoring the hearing while also dealing with other congressional matters. Stewart was largely unconvinced by the excuses given.
He highlighted the rows of uniformed police and firefighters behind him and said the situation “should be flipped” so that congress members were forced to face the scrutiny of first responders.
Of the more than 40,000 people who have applied for 9/11 compensation, there are still around 21,000 claims pending review. Stewart echoed the frustration some families felt that 18 years removed from the September 11 attacks they were still unable to get assurances the compensation fund won’t run out of money before paying everyone their due.