Trump to host 9/11 first responders at victim fund bill signing next week

Trump to host 9/11 first responders at victim fund bill signing next week
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor The US-Iranian scuffle over a ship is a sideshow to events in the Gulf South Korea: US, North Korea to resume nuclear talks 'soon' MORE will be joined by first responders and survivors of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks next week at the signing of legislation to extend the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.

The White House said Friday that Trump will sign the bill on Monday in an event in the State Dining Room. He will be joined by more than 200 people "directly impacted by the 9/11 terrorist attacks, including first responders, survivors and family members of victims."

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The Senate approved the legislation last week in a 98-2 vote following months of debate amid warnings from first responders and advocates that the fund was running out of money and would be unable to cover all claims without congressional action.

Sens. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulGraham promises ObamaCare repeal if Trump, Republicans win in 2020 Conservatives buck Trump over worries of 'socialist' drug pricing Rand Paul to 'limit' August activities due to health MORE (R-Ky.) and Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeMcConnell, allies lean into Twitter, media 'war' Conservatives buck Trump over worries of 'socialist' drug pricing Criminal justice reform should extend to student financial aid MORE (R-Utah) were the lone senators to oppose the bill, citing concerns about its cost.

Comedian Jon Stewart and first responders met with lawmakers over the last several months and delivered emotional testimony at a hearing in June to plead with Congress to reauthorize the fund.

The former "Daily Show" host has championed the fund for years, using his star power to bring attention to the cause.

The White House did not immediately respond when asked whether Stewart had been invited to attend the White House ceremony.

Upon Trump's signature, the bill will extend the compensation fund through fiscal 2090, effectively making it a permanent reauthorization. It had already passed the House in a 402-12 vote earlier this month, clearing the way for it to be sent to Trump's desk. 

Trump, a native New Yorker, has a complicated history when it comes to the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

He has often praised first responders for their courage at the World Trade Center and has spoken at 9/11 memorial events in each year since taking office.

But he has also sparked controversy with comments about the attacks. He has claimed that "thousands of people were cheering" in areas with "large Arab populations" in New Jersey when the Twin Towers fell, though there is no record of such a response and PolitiFact has rated the claim "Pants on Fire."

In a phone interview with a New York television station on the day of the attacks, Trump said that the collapse of the towers made a building he owned the tallest in lower Manhattan.