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‘You should be ashamed’: Jon Stewart shreds members of Congress for skipping 9/11 victims hearing

‘You should be ashamed’: Jon Stewart shreds members of Congress for skipping 9/11 victims hearing
Comedian and former talk show host Jon Stewart ripped lawmakers to pieces when many skipped out on a hearing on funding for victims of the September 11 attacks, calling the poor attendance a “stain” on Congress.

The retired Daily Show host delivered the roasting on Tuesday in testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, which met to discuss a bill that would reauthorize compensation for 9/11 victims and first responders. When only five committee members showed up, Stewart let them have it.

“You should be ashamed of yourselves for those that aren't here, but you won't be,” Stewart said at the hearing, adding that accountability was an unfamiliar concept to some Congress members.

Stewart noted that the empty seats were an “incredible metaphor” for the difficulties survivors have encountered seeking compensation all along, many of whom need help covering the cost of expensive medical bills.

As he spoke of the victims and first responders he knew personally, Stewart paused at moments to hold back tears.

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“Five seconds. That’s how long it took – for FDNY, for NYPD, for Port Authority, for EMS – to respond to an urgent need from the public,” Stewart said, referring to the quick response time of emergency workers on 9/11. “Five seconds.”

The emergency responders did their jobs as soon as they were required, he said, telling the congresspeople “eighteen years later, do yours!”

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Stewart’s testimony, reminiscent of the emotional monologue he delivered on air after the 9/11 attacks themselves, appeared to have an effect. The room gave him a standing ovation, while a handful of embarrassed lawmakers looked on sheepishly.

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