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Jon Stewart Joins With Congressman Engel to Fight for Zadroga Act Reauthorization

Jon Stewart Joins With Congressman Engel to Fight for Zadroga Act Reauthorization

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Eliot Engel, a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, was joined on Capitol Hill Wednesday by former Daily Show host Jon Stewart to call for the immediate passage of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act.

The bill would permanently reauthorize the World Trade Center Health Program, which ensures that the nearly 400,000 Americans suffering from debilitating conditions as a result of exposure to toxins from the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks do not bear any of the financial costs related to those conditions.Without Congressional action, this Program will expire in September 2016.

"Congress has a moral obligation to do everything possible to help the heroes of 9/11," said Engel. "Reauthorization of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act must be made an immediate priority by both House and Senate leadership. To ignore these brave men and women would be an utter disgrace. As an original cosponsor of the first law and this reauthorization bill, I stand today with my colleagues, the first-responders, and Jon Stewart, who has so graciously lent his support to this vital cause, to say the Zadroga Act must be extended and finally made permanent.”

Stewart, who lobbied Congress on behalf of the original Zadroga Act in 2010, said that anything less than a permanent reauthorization would be an embarrassment.

“My feeling is, if you have stage 4 cancer and you get a letter of notification saying that the medicine you rely on might be ending in a year, that to me is an urgent-care situation,” Stewart said at a morning press conference. “These illnesses that they have are not on five-year cycles. These are permanent illnesses causing permanent damage.”