9-11 victims’ compensation fund extension signed by Trump

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 11: Former Daily Show Host Jon Stewart arrives before testifying during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on reauthorization of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund on Capitol Hill on June 11, 2019 in Washington, DC. The fund provides financial assistance to responders, victims and their families who require medical care related to health issues they suffered in the aftermath of 9/11 terrorist attacks. (Photo by Zach Gibson/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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