President Trump signed a bill Monday to care for the surviving first responders of the 9/11 terror attacks and their families. The legislation, which the Senate voted to reauthorize last week, makes the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund permanent. 

 

"Our nation owes each of you a profound debt that no words or deeds will ever repay. But we can and we will keep our nation's promise to you," the president said in the White House Rose Garden before signing the bill. "In a few moments I will sign the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund. This law makes permanent the financial support for families who lost precious loved ones as a result of September 11th attacks. It also provides pensions for those who are suffering from cancer and other illnesses seeming from the toxic debris they were exposed to in the aftermath of the attacks. Many of those affected were firefighters police officers and other first responders. 

"And I was down there also. But I'm not considering myself a first responder. But I was down there, spent a lot of time down there with you," the president continued. 

No Democratic representatives were present for the signing, including the bill's lead sponsor. Jon Stewart, who catapulted the issue to the forefront of the political discussion earlier this month when Congress was stalling on the legislation, was also not there.