POLITICS

Inside Jon Stewart's Lobbying Trip To Congress

The comedian and first responders won one more sponsor for the 9/11 bill, but the day took its toll.

WASHINGTON -- Jon Stewart does not like Congress very much, which should come as no surprise to anyone who regularly watched him on television or saw him return to his old "Daily Show" Monday night to push for a new 9/11 health bill.

Stewart made his opinion of America's legislature very clear after explaining to current host Trevor Noah the details of his visit to Capitol Hill last week with 9/11 responders in pursuit of a new James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.

"The only conclusion I can draw is that the people of Congress are not as good as the people who are first responders," Stewart said on the show.

Video footage from Stewart's recent visit to the Capitol makes clear how personally affected he is by Congressional inaction on a new bill, which would renew programs offering aid to 9/11 victims and emergency workers.

In a full day of walking the halls of the Capitol and its office buildings, Stewart did all that was asked of him. He didn't take time to eat until he cadged some cranberries in a Senate office. He cracked his trademark jokes, and he and the cops and firefighters with him even managed to change one senator's mind.

But a day chock-full of empty smiles, vague promises and incessant talk of "pay-fors" took its toll. Not that Stewart complained, but lawmakers and staffers' clinical, political and bureaucratic responses to the ailing 9/11 responders did not sit well with the comedian. He looked drained.

"He looked like shit," said John Feal, the founder of the FealGood Foundation and a construction worker who lost half his foot at Ground Zero.

"He looked like we felt. He looked like a 9/11 responder who's spent more than two months this past year walking those halls," Feal added, referring to the amount of time he and other responders have had to spend lobbying lawmakers on the bill. "Walking those halls is painful."

Watch the video above by Christine Conetta for a look inside Stewart's day on the Hill.

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