Speed Reads

Moment of zen

Jon Stewart rails against Congress during hearing on 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund

Four years after leaving The Daily Show, Jon Stewart is far from finished putting Congress on blast.

Stewart testified on Tuesday during a House Judiciary Committee hearing about funding for the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund, and from the start, he tore into lawmakers who weren't present.

"As I sit here, I can't help but think what an incredible metaphor this room is for the entire process that getting healthcare and benefits for 9/11 first responders has come to," Stewart said. "Behind me, a filled room of 9/11 first responders, and in front of me, a nearly empty Congress."

The former Daily Show host was on Capitol Hill urging Congress to pass a bill funding the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund past 2020, The New York Post reports. But the Post's Nikki Schwab reports that only five members from the subcommittee were at the hearing.

Stewart called this an "embarrassment to the country" and a "stain on this institution," telling those who didn't attend that they should be "ashamed" of themselves.

"There is not an empty chair on that stage that didn't tweet out, 'Never forget the heroes of 9/11. Never forget their bravery. Never forget what they did, what they gave to this country.' Well here they are," Stewart said. "And where are they?"

Stewart also shamed Congress for its "disrespect" of the first responders, drawing a standing ovation after finishing a fiery speech by saying, "They did their jobs with courage, grace, tenacity, humility. Eighteen years later, do yours." Brendan Morrow