Ever since Jon Stewart signed off as host of “The Daily Show,” people have been speculating about what he’d do next. Would he host another TV show? Make a movie or run for public office? As it turns out, he’s decided to do something far more noble.
Stewart will head to Washington D.C. next week with about a hundred 9/11 responders, aiming to pressure members of Congress into supporting extended health programs for thousands of ground zero firefighters, cops and EMTs.
“Jon Stewart was one of the driving forces behind getting the Zadroga Act passed in the first place, but the law is set to expire unless Congress acts again,” reads a statement from Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), discussing the post-9/11 act that funds health programs for first responders suffering from various illnesses including cancer. “The ailing 9/11 responders and survivors are suffering a range of health care problems. We can’t force them to come back to Capitol Hill every five years to beg for their health care. Nobody understands that better than Jon Stewart, and nobody is better suited to make sure Congress gets the message.”
Stewart and the responders will roam the halls of Congress, urging lawmakers to permanently extend the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. Currently, the program is set to expire at the end of September.
“Honored Jon Stewart will join 9/11 heroes next week, but fact is, they shouldn’t have to walk the halls of Congress at all,” tweets Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). “It’s our moral obligation to ensure they get care.”
Rep Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) is also in support of the comedian’s next act. “Jon Stewart was on the front lines of the battle helping us to establish these programs .. .We are all grateful to him for once again fighting for our 9/11 heroes.”