Jon Stewart makes Capitol Hill appearance for 9/11 bill

Jon Stewart makes Capitol Hill appearance for 9/11 bill
© Greg Nash

Former late-night host Jon Stewart joined New York lawmakers on Monday to call on the White House to withdraw a proposal to reorganize the health-care program for 9/11 first responders.

In a press conference outside the Capitol alongside first responders, Stewart said President TrumpDonald TrumpMeghan McCain: Democrats 'should give a little credit' to Trump for COVID-19 vaccine Trump testing czar warns lockdowns may be on table if people don't get vaccinated Overnight Health Care: CDC details Massachusetts outbreak that sparked mask update | White House says national vaccine mandate 'not under consideration at this time' MORE should "put a stop" to the effort.

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“He's a guy that has supported the first responders and veterans, he talks about how much he loves them,” Stewart said of Trump. “It's a very simple thing. I'm sure he could put a stop to it this afternoon if he wanted to. And so I would urge him to do so.”

The Trump administration is considering a reorganization that would move the 9/11 health-care program from oversight by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), a worker safety agency.

Stewart and the lawmakers argued that doing so would needlessly upend the program, which provides health care for first responders with cancer and other illnesses caused by exposure to materials at Ground Zero after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

On a call with reporters, a senior administration official pushed back on the claims at the press conference, saying there is no effort to change services or funding through the 9/11 program.

Instead, the official says the administration is simply reorganizing the program to fit under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while NIOSH, which the official said is more research-focused, would be under the National Institutes of Health.

At the press conference with Stewart, New York Reps. Carolyn MaloneyCarolyn MaloneyDOJ tells former Trump officials they can testify in Jan. 6 investigations: report Overnight Energy: Democrats request interview with Exxon lobbyist after undercover tapes | Biden EPA to reconsider Trump rollback on power plant pollution in 2022 | How climate change and human beings influence wildfires Democrats request interview with Exxon lobbyist after undercover tapes MORE (D), Jerrold Nadler (D) and Pete KingPeter (Pete) KingNewsmax anchor Greg Kelly to host New York radio show Top GOP lawmakers call for Swalwell to be removed from Intelligence Committee Republican Garbarino wins election to replace retiring Rep. Pete King MORE (R) singled out White House budget director Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyHeadhunters having hard time finding jobs for former Trump officials: report Trump holdovers are denying Social Security benefits to the hardest working Americans Mulvaney calls Trump's comments on Capitol riot 'manifestly false' MORE as being behind the proposal.

“Leave the 9/11 health-care program alone,” Maloney said. “Director Mulvaney needs to immediately withdraw this proposal.”

The administration official denied that the change was Mulvaney’s project, saying the idea was generated from policy staff at the Office of Management and Budget.

The proposal would require congressional action to be implemented.

Stewart helped first responders and New York lawmakers push for funding for the 9/11 program in 2015, which was finally approved that year after a long push.

Stewart said he did not want to jeopardize the progress with changes, joking that when “one guy screws everything up,” it would become known as “pulling a Mulvaney.”