Jon Stewart calls on Congress to extend 9/11 benefits

Jon Stewart calls on Congress to extend 9/11 benefits

Jon Stewart will join hundreds of firefighters at a rally on Capitol Hill Wednesday to call on Congress to extend healthcare and compensation benefits for victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The World Trade Center Health Program, which provides medical monitoring and treatment to emergency responders and cleanup workers from the attacks, is set to expire at the end of the month.

While its authorization expires on Sept. 30, the program can continue spending funds for one additional year.


The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, which helps victims financially, is also set to expire in October 2016.

Members of the New York delegation — Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D), Peter King (R), Jerrold Nadler (D) and Lee Zeldin (R) — will attend the rally on Wednesday.

Stewart, the former host of "The Daily Show," is expected to join firefighters and 9/11 victims lobbying lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

If the programs are not reauthorized, victims of the attacks could lose both healthcare and financial support.

New York's lawmakers have been calling on leadership to hold a vote to pass the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act well before next October. They argue that notices will have to be issued to recipients and doctors participating in the health program next year, which could cause anxiety and prompt doctors to leave the program.

To qualify for the health program, you must have been an emergency responder, volunteer or cleanup worker after the attacks at the World Trade Center, Pentagon or the crash site near Shanksville, Pa.