Trump signs extension 9-11 victims’ compensation fund

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 23: Jon Stewart (C) hugs 911 first responder John Feal (R) as Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) (L) stands nearby after the U.S. Senate voted to renew permanent authorization of September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, on Capitol Hill July 23, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has signed a bill ensuring that a victims’ compensation fund related to the Sept. 11 attacks never runs out of money.

Appearing in the Rose Garden on Monday with first responders from the 2001 terrorist attacks, Trump approved a bill extending the fund through 2092, essentially making it permanent.

The $7.4 billion fund had been rapidly depleting, and administrators recently cut benefit payments by up to 70%.

The bill passed Congress on a bipartisan basis but only after delays by some Republicans that exposed the legislative branch to withering criticism from activists, including comedian Jon Stewart.

More than 40,000 people have applied to the fund, which covers illnesses potentially related to being at the World Trade Center site, the Pentagon or Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after the attacks.

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