Jon Stewart hits Capitol to push 9/11 responder benefits
© Greg Nash
Comedian Jon Stewart on Thursday came to Capitol Hill to push lawmakers to renew legislation supporting first responders and victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. 
 
The former "Daily Show" host could be seen alongside a cameraman, as well as firefighters and police officers, buttonholing lawmakers in the Capitol basement to push for renewal of the legislation, parts of which expired last month.
 
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Unless Congress acts by the end of the year, funds for health benefits under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act will start to dwindle, potentially leaving people hurt during the attacks out in the cold.   
 
On Tuesday, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) accused Republicans of holding the legislation hostage by excluding it from a highway funding bill, set to hit the floor this week. Now it’s essentially homeless, Reid claimed, unattached to a larger piece of legislation.
 
“I am disappointed,” Reid told reporters. “It's something that these people deserve, and I was told what we're going to do it on the omnibus [spending bill]. And now, I was told later in the day that they want to do it on the tax extenders.
 
“So, I don't know what their 9/11 idea of the day is — I should say the hour.”
 
The law has been a pet project for Stewart, who also came to Capitol Hill in September to push for its extension. At the time, he met with Senate Democrats in an unsuccessful attempt to propel the bill forward.