"What an incredible metaphor this room is for the entire process that getting healthcare and benefits for 9/11 first responders has come to", said Stewart at the beginning of his speech.
"Sick and dying, they brought themselves down here to speak to no one", he said, tearing up.
The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, which Stewart and others have battled to protect for years, is set to run out of money in December 2020.
But Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) defended the actions of his colleagues, saying that half the seats were empty because Stewart and the survivors were only testifying before a subcommittee.
Alvarez said he had survived 68 rounds of chemotherapy to fight 9/11-related cancer and would start his next round Wednesday. "Never forget what they did, what they gave to this country.' Well here they are", Stewart said.
The Never Forget the Heroes Act, introduced to the House this year by New York Rep. Carolyn Maloney, has been lauded by people on both sides of the aisle as a long-term solution to the problem, according to NPR.
"I think the efforts of Jon Stewart, the responders, and survivors who have been working the halls are all coming to fruition", Ben Chevat, the head of 9/11 advocacy group Citizens for the Extension of the James Zadroga Act, told the Daily News.
He admitted, "I'm sorry if I sound angry and undiplomatic".
As thousands more now battle 9/11-related diseases such as cancer or severe respiratory disease, shockingly, it's predicted that by the end of this year the number of first responders who have died since the tragic event will overtake the number who died on the day...
Stewart has been a longtime advocate for September 11 victims and first responders, frequently appearing on Capitol Hill to push lawmakers to increase funding to aid those who suffered illnesses following the attacks. And it would be one thing if their callous indifference and rank hypocrisy were benign, but it's not. "It's shameful. It's an embarrassment to the country".
When asked by CNN's Suzanne Malveaux later Tuesday whether Democrats, Republicans or the administration are at fault in the lack of funding, Stewart replied, "I don't want to get into it - Congress needs to fund us, and they need to fund us indefinitely for the lives of these men and women and not for five years".
The emergency responders did their jobs as soon as they were required, he said, telling the congresspeople "eighteen years later, do yours!".
"It's an embarrassment to the country, and it is a stain on this institution", said Stewart. "Obviously, you can say he wears his emotions on his sleeves", former 9/11 first responder Jake Lemonda said on FOX Business' "The Evening Edit" Tuesday.
"We will respond, and we will see that this is funded", he continued.