After lengthy debates, gut-wrenching testimony from first responders and a public shaming by Jon Stewart, the bill that permanently authorizes funding for the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund was passed unanimously by the House panel today, the Law Enforcement Today reports.

The great news is a big win for all those affected by the terrible event.

“People are still getting sick as diseases…emerge after long latency periods. Those already sick are getting sicker, and tragically, many are dying and have died,” Jerrold Nadler said in his opening statement.

“Why this bill isn’t unanimous consent and a stand-alone issue, is beyond my comprehension. And I’ve yet to hear a reasonable explanation as to why,” said Jon Stewart,the former “Daily Show” host. “Behind me, a filled room of 9/11 first responders, and in front of me a nearly empty Congress.”

In the best case scenario,the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund would have run out of money by December 2020. The bill, which the House Judiciary Committee passed unanimously on Wednesday, permanently authorizes funding for the program,the Law Enforcement Today also reports.

In an emotional testimony, Stewart accused lawmakers of negligence and of treating first responders lobbying for more relief money “like children trick-or-treating, rather than the heroes they are and they will always be.

“I’m sorry if I sound angry and undiplomatic, but I’m angry, and you should be, too, and they’re all angry as well and they have every justification to be that way. This hearing should be flipped. These men and women should be up on this stage, Congress should be down here answering their questions as to why this is so damn hard and take so damn long,” he said.

And all those in room gave him rounds of applause when he finished his speech! “I cried through all of it, most of us did,” Rep. Mike Johnson, R-La., told Stewart.

This bill marks a major step for emergency responders, almost 18 years after the attacks!