This week, Jon Stewart made his first major public appearance since putting his Daily Show run to rest and getting bodyslammed by a pro-wrestler, appearing at a rally in front of the US Capitol to fight to extend health benefits for 9/11 first responders. "I have a warning: today, on the Hill, you will be exposed to possibly toxic levels of bullshit and arrogance. You’re strong men and women, but these are conditions you may have never seen before," Stewart said in front of a crowd of first responders, activists and lawmakers. "Nobody had to lobby you to rush to the towers on that day."

The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which was passed to ensure 9/11 first responders and rescue workers would get federal money for their health care, is set to expire next month.

"I want to apologize to all the men and women, first responders, that you had to come down here today," a bearded Stewart said more soberly. "I'm embarrassed. I'm embarrassed for our country. I'm embarrassed for New York. 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."

Watch it below.

Stewart has long been an outspoken advocate of the bill, which President Obama signed into law in January 2011. Stewart very publicly went after lawmakers pussyfooting around the Act, devoting his final Daily Show episode of 2010 to the topic, which the Times credits with helping prompt its passage.

The act is named after NYPD detective James Zadroga, who died in 2006. While one medical examiner said that he did die from toxic World Trade Center dust, the city ruled that he didn't and Mayor Bloomberg even said that he wasn't a hero (he later apologized).

According to Politico, Stewart's activism went over well: several lawmakers—including Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer, and Reps. Jerrold Nadler, Carolyn Maloney and Peter King—held "a spirited afternoon press conference, where they urged their fellow members of Congress to back the effort." Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also said he supported extending the bill.

If you are interested in what you can do to support the bill, you can find out more information about it here.