Comedian Jon Stewart has returned to the Daily Show, where he made a push to renew a law that provides health benefits for first responders who became ill after the 9/11 attacks. On the Daily Show With Trevor Noah Monday night, Stewart, as a field correspondent for a segment, urged, badgered, and exhorted Congress, especially Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, to pass the Zadroga Act. The law expired Oct. 1 but has enough funding to last another year. Proponents of the law are seeking its permanent extension, but some Republicans have opposed that, saying they want a chance to periodically review it and make sure it's operating soundly.
Stewart told Noah that he wasn't there to take his show back, but Stewart told him he was back because he had an issue he wanted people to pay attention to and that he "realized he didn't have a show anymore," the Wrap reports. Stewart, who devoted a show to the issue in 2010, said that from his experiences, "the only [conclusion] that I can draw is the people from Congress are not as good a people as the people who are first responders." He had a panel of four first responders on the 2010 show and welcomed one of them, firefighter Kenny Specht, back to the show Monday night, Mashable reports. Three chairs were left empty because two members of the 2010 panel are now too ill to appear and one has died. (Stewart will be returning to TV longer-term under a production deal with HBO.)