Isn’t it funny how long it took for the first responders of 9/11 to get the funding that they deserved? It took one strong voice to stand up for those involved to get the action started for the funding. The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund was established in 2011 to help first responders and others whose illness and/or death was caused by the exposure to toxic substances they encountered while helping at the World Trade Center.
Jon Stewart did what he does best. He spoke up to the Judiciary Committee on Tuesday for the support of the bill to continue funding for the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. Jon’s testimony ran nearly 10 minutes and it went viral quick, which may have lead to the quick response of the House Judiciary Committee to pass the bill. Stewart told attendees on Tuesday, “Behind me, a filled room of 9/11 first responders. And in front of me, a nearly empty Congress.”
The bill approved by the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday applies to the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, which is only one part of a larger law called the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. That law is named after the first New York City police officer whose death, from respiratory disease in 2006, was tied to toxic chemicals at the attack site. It took Congress nearly a decade after the attacks to approve the health care funds. A first version of the bill, called the Remember 9/11 Health Act, was introduced in 2005 by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, a Democrat from New York, but it never came to a vote.
As you can see, it just took that one strong, criticizing voice to get Congress on their toes, with everyone watching the TV show host put Congress to the test. With all that said, Jon Stewart you are the one who made this possible for all the victims of 9/11, and you will not go unthanked. Keep voicing for those who need it.