Jon Stewart

PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images

He may no longer be the host of the Daily Show, but Jon Stewart is still holding Washington D.C.  accountable.

The late-night host joined 100 9/11 first responders Wednesday in their fight to permanently renew the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act that is set to expire at the end of the month.

Wearing a New York City Fire Department T-shirt with a red, white and blue ribbon, Stewart voiced his outrage that Congress hasn't stepped in to "do what's right."

"I'm embarrassed. I'm embarrassed for our country. I'm embarrassed for New York," he explained in front of first responders and rescuers. "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."

He continued, "If they can't get this done, I don't have a tremendous amount of hope they can get anything done, this is about as unassailable a piece of legislation as you can possibly have. If you can't get this done, maybe we should shut down [the government]."

After the rally, Stewart joined a group of first responders to walk the halls of Congress in hopes of drawing lawmakers' attention to the issue. While some were receptive, the 52-year-old warned responders that this was going to be a fight.

"On the hill, you will be exposed to possibly toxic levels of bulls--t and arrogance," he explained. "You're strong men and women, but these are conditions you may never have faced before. Buckle your seatbelts. Let's get this done."

Stewart has fought for 9/11 first responders for many years. In December 2010, the former Daily Show host aired a memorable segment titled "Worst Responders" where he invited several first responders on to the show to talk about Congress' reluctance to pass the bill.

It ended up taking just six days after Stewart's show for lawmakers to pass the Zadroga Act. Now that's the power of Stewart! 

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