In an interview with Fox News' Shep Smith, comedian Jon Stewart struck a serious note when discussing his crusade to get better aid programs for 9/11 first responders.
Smith noted that Stewart's push to pass legislation benefitting first responders has taken a new turn now that much of the initial laws he helped pass are slated to run out.
The comedian acknowledged his role in the push, but said that his fellow guests — first responders John Field and Richard Alice — were "the boots on the ground" to get the legislation passed.
"John has been to Congress hundreds of times," Stewart said of Field, who responded that he'd gone to Capitol Hill 257 times.
"As the [9/11 Victim Compensation Fund] comes up in 2020, we're just trying to get ahead of it to let people know that there's still time to sign up for the program," Stewart said, adding that it will soon run out of money.
The host noted that "when the bill was introduced in 2010 that made the funding possible, there was resistance to it."
"We [New Yorkers] couldn't imagine who from New York or who from America could be against funding for people that were victims of this attack," Smith said. "Turns out, a lot of them. They were playing politics by doing add-ons to bills."
The host noted that members of Congress would "tack on" unrelated issues, such as abortion and an oil import/export tax.
"Who has expressed opposition?" the host asked the first responders. "Who has said they can't be for this and why?"
Without missing a beat, Field noted that "leadership on the Republican Party has always been against" the VCF because of what it costs.
"In the beginning when we walked the halls in 2004 and 5 and 6, they said it was a New York issue," the first responder said. "Then we showed them it was a national issue. They said how are you going to pay for it? That's like the oldest trick in the book. If they want to find money, they find it."
Field described how he and other first responders ate, slept and cried in the halls of Congress — and eventually getting sick from the effects of absorbing the smoke through their noses, mouth and skin as well.
"Every September 11th, all of these elected officials still in office from when we've been fighting since 2004, they say we'll never forget 9-11," he said. "We'll always remember our heroes."
"That's B.S.," Field concluded.
Watch below, via Fox News: