Jon Stewart on Tuesday celebrated the Senate's vote to reauthorize the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, saying it has been the "honor" of his life to fight on behalf of first responders sickened by exposure to toxic material at Ground Zero.
"This has been the honor of my life," the former host of Comedy Central's "Daily Show" said at a press conference following the passage of the bill, which would ensure funding for victims for the next seven decades. The Senate voted overwhelmingly, 97-2, to pass the legislation, which now heads to President Trump's desk for his signature. Republican Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah were the only two to vote against it, citing spending concerns.
"I will always be so proud to have been associated with it," Stewart said.
Last month, Stewart made an impassioned plea on Capitol Hill for Congress to reauthorize the fund, which was set to expire next year. He also berated lawmakers who failed to show up to the hearing.
“Sick and dying, they brought themselves down here to speak — to no one,” Stewart said. “Shameful. It’s an embarrassment to the country, and it is a stain on this institution.”
The day after Stewart's appearance, the House panel voted unanimously to advance the bill.
Stewart also called out Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for not meeting with the first responders pushing for the bill's reauthorization. McConnell eventually did, and brought the legislation to a vote on the Senate floor.
"We can never repay all that the 9/11 community has done for our country," Stewart said Tuesday. "But we can stop penalizing them."
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