Seth Rogen: Senators were ‘falling asleep’

Actor Seth Rogen says members of a Senate committee dozed off Wednesday while he testified about Alzheimer’s disease. 
 
“Two of them were falling asleep during the first part of the testimony, literally. I saw it happening," Rogen said Wednesday night on MSNBC.

"I think it is indicative of the mentality that we find so frustrating is that it seems to be low priority," he said. "It seems like these people don’t care. That’s the direct message they are giving by leaving during the testimony, is that they don’t care.”  

The actor, known for his roles in comedies such as "Knocked Up" and "Pineapple Express," spoke at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee on Labor, Heath and Human Services and Education about his organization Hilarity for Charity, which aims to bring visibility to the disease that affected his mother-in-law. 
 
By the time Rogen spoke, only the chairman and ranking member remained in the chamber — not atypical for a low-level subcommittee hearing. Many hearings have generally low attendance, as members duck in and out of committee rooms to hear testimony and ask questions. 
 
Similarly, senators usually give speeches on the floor to an empty chamber.  
 
Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and ranking member Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) both stuck around for Rogen's testimony. The actor criticized Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) over Twitter for leaving before he spoke. 
 
"@SenatorKirk pleasure meeting you. Why did you leave before my speech? Just curious," Rogen asked Kirk over Twitter. 
 
Kirk told Rogen he had a pre-scheduled meeting with former astronaut Jim Lovell but watched his testimony afterward. A spokeswoman for Kirk said the senator stayed at the hearing for more than an hour and asked a number of questions before leaving. 
 
"@Sethrogen Had mtg w/ Capt Jim Lovell but watched your testimony after. Thx for your work to #ENDALZ. Keep in touch," Kirk tweeted back. 
 
Rogen spoke about his mother-in-law’s battle with the disease in her 50s, sprinkling it with jokes about drug use and the Netflix series “House of Cards.” 
 
"I should first answer a question I assume many of you are asking, Yes, I’m aware this has nothing to do with the legalization of marijuana. In fact, if you can believe it, this concerns something that I find even more important," Rogen said to open his testimony. 
 
—Updated 3 p.m.