WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — In a Rose Garden event Monday morning, the president signed the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund bill into law.
The legislation will provide funding for the thousands of first responders and volunteers who worked at Ground Zero in New York City, the Pentagon, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks— and now suffer from cancer and other diseases related to the toxic environment at the sites of the attacks.
“We come together as one nation to support our Sept. 11th heroes. To care for their families and to renew our eternal vow: never, ever forget,” said President Trump.
Now signed into law, the bipartisan bill replenishes funding for police officers, firefighters and emergency workers injured or killed because of the terror attacks.
Getting the 9/11 compensation bill to the president’s desk wasn’t easy.
Lawmakers heard emotional testimony from first responders warning Congress that money to cover claims was running out. Lawmakers including Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey helped push the bill through.
“We want to make sure that those first responders are taken care of,” Toomey said.
Luis Alvarez died in June shortly after urging lawmakers to pass the legislation. At the signing, President Trump paid tribute Alvarez and the two other first responders the bill is named after.
“I want each of you to know that America is holding you in the arms of its wonderful, wonderful heart. We are all grieving by your side,” Trump said.
Supporters say the law is one way to honor the sacrifices made on September 11th, 2001, and helps ensure first responders won’t have to fight for funding from Congress again.