Jon Stewart devoted an entire show last year to lambasting Congress for stalling on the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which would have provided medical coverage and financial compensation for the first responders (cops, firefighters, EMTs, etc.) to the September 11 attacks. A modified version of the bill eventually passed, but not before Stewart (and other voices, on both sides of the aisle) basically called the bill's opponents heartless and insensitive and awful.
Stewart addressed the first responders bill again last night, specifically a provision that requires anyone seeking benefits to have their name checked against those on terror watch lists. (It's in the news now because claims are just now being processed.) Rep. Cliff Stearns, a Florida Republican, sponsored the amendment in December, "to ensure that no terrorists get these benefits." The Daily Show host couldn't believe it:
"You want 9/11 first responders to know that before they get their chemo money, for the cancer they got sifting through World Trace Center rubble in the hopes of identifying those we lost in the attack, you have one last, just tiny loose end to tie up: We just have to make sure you're not a terrorist. You know who else has to go through that kind of check to get their money? Nobody. Not for Medicare, not for Medicaid, not Social Security, not farm subsidies, not oil subsidies, not for FEMA disaster money. Although if your name is Katrina, they have to verify you're not a hurricane."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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