"Nobody had to lobby you to rush to those towers that day," Jon Stewart told 9/11 first responders at a rally on Capitol Hill Wednesday

By Tierney McAfee
Updated September 16, 2015 02:50 PM
Rick Kern/Getty

“Former Daily Show host Jon Stewart made the most of his newfound free time on Wednesday by rallying on Capitol Hill for legislation to support 9/11 first responders.

“I’m embarrassed. I’m embarrassed for our country. I’m embarrassed for New York,” a beard-sporting Stewart told first responders gathered at the rally. “I’m embarrassed that you, after serving so selflessly with such heroism, have to come down here and convince people to do what’s right for the illnesses and difficulties that you suffered because of your heroism and because of your selflessness.”

“Nobody had to lobby you to rush to those towers that day,” he added.

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The rally called on Congress to support a bill funding the World Trade Center Health Program, which provides treatment to more than 30,000 emergency responders, recovery and cleanup workers who suffer illnesses caused by the aftermath of 9/11.

Ever the comedian, Stewart managed to sneak in a joke at the rally, warning the first responders of Congress, “Today on the Hill you will be exposed to possibly toxic levels of bulls— and arrogance.”