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Saying He Was 'Down There,' Trump Signs 9/11 Victims Bill

Democrat who wore firefighter jacket in protest isn't invited
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2019 6:46 PM CDT
First responders and their families applaud at a White House ceremony Monday where a measure to fund the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund was signed into law.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
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(Newser) – President Trump signed a measure Monday extending the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund indefinitely. The Senate gave it final approval last week after a Congress-shaming campaign by comedian Jon Stewart. Extending the fund is "a sacred duty," Trump said Monday. "Today we come together as one nation to support our September 11th heroes to care for their families and to renew our eternal vow—never, ever forget," he said, per CNN. First responders, people affected by the attacks, and lawmakers attended the Rose Garden ceremony. One lawmaker who said she was not invited was the measure's lead co-sponsor, Rep. Carolyn Maloney. The Democrat had worn a New York firefighter jacket since February, per CBS, and pledged she wouldn't take it off until Congress passed the funding.

Before the signing ceremony, Trump called first responders to the stage to make sure it wouldn't collapse. "I don't know if this stage will hold it, but if it doesn't, we're not falling very far," he said, per Newsweek. Speaking of Ground Zero, he told the first responders: "I was down there also—but I’m not considering myself a first responder. But I was down there. I spent a lot of time down there with you." It's not clear what he could have been referring to: Politico has reported that he spent the day at Trump Tower, four miles from the World Trade Center. Trump has also claimed in the past that he helped clear the rubble and joined the search for survivors, per MSNBC. (Read more 9/11 victims stories.)

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