Trump signs extension of Sept. 11 victims' compensation fund

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump on Monday 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 with more than 60 first responders from the 2001 terrorist attacks, Trump sent into law an extension of the fund through 2092, essentially making it permanent.

"You inspire all of humanity," Trump said of the "true American warriors" who rushed to help victims on the day of the attacks and searched for remains for months after.

He added that the nation has a "sacred obligation" to care for the responders and their families.

RELATED: Jon Stewart testifies at 9/11 compensation hearings

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Jon Stewart testifies during 9/11 victims' fund hearing
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Jon Stewart testifies during 9/11 victims' fund hearing
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 11: Former Daily Show Host Jon Stewart signs a name placard for Retired New York Police Department detective and 9/11 responder Luis Alvarez following 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, DC - JUNE 11: Former Daily Show Host Jon Stewart is sworn in 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, DC - JUNE 11: FealGood Foundation co-founder John Feal hugs former Daily Show Host Jon Stewart 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)
UNITED STATES - JUNE 11: Entertainer and activist Jon Stewart wipes away tears after being presented with the jacket of first responder Ray Pfeifer before testifying at a hearing by the House Judiciary Committee as it considers permanent authorization of the Victim Compensation Fund in Washington on Tuesday June 11, 2019. (Photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - JUNE 11: Entertainer and activist Jon Stewart holds up the jacket of first responder Ray Pfeifer before testifying at a hearing by the House Judiciary Committee as it considers permanent authorization of the Victim Compensation Fund in Washington on Tuesday June 11, 2019. (Photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - JUNE 11: Entertainer and activist Jon Stewart holds up the jacket of first responder Ray Pfeifer before testifying at a hearing by the House Judiciary Committee as it considers permanent authorization of the Victim Compensation Fund in Washington on Tuesday June 11, 2019. (Photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 11: Former Daily Show Host Jon Stewart is pictured 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, DC - JUNE 11: Former Daily Show Host Jon Stewart and FealGood Foundation co-founder John Feal look on 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, 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, 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, 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, DC - JUNE 11: Former Daily Show Host Jon Stewart testifies 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, DC - JUNE 11: Former Daily Show Host Jon Stewart speaks to Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) following 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)
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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 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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