President Donald Trump signed the bill benefitting the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund on Monday, during a Rose Garden ceremony at the White House.
“The love and loyalty of our 9/11 responders knew no bounds,” Trump said, welcoming more than 60 heroes from 9/11 and members of their families to the White House.
The president recalled their heroism on the fateful day of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
“To every 9/11 hero, you poured out your heart, your sweat, your soul and everything you had for your country,” he said. “You ran towards the wreckage into a ball of flames that frankly nobody in this country had ever seen.”
The bill extends permanent benefits for the 9/11 victims and heroes suffering from the aftermath of the attacks. The bipartisan bill passed the Senate 97-2 last week
Trump recalled the day that the attacks took place in New York City.
“I was down there also. But I’m not considering myself a first responder,” he said. “But I was down there, spent a lot of time down there with you.”
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani attended the ceremony, but reporters did not spot any other Democrat New York members of Congress present. Republican Rep. Chris Collins and Peter King of New York were present.
“Rudy’s got a lot of guts,” Trump said, referring to Giuliani, calling him “the greatest mayor in my opinion.”
The president welcomed all of the families and first responders to join him on the stage while he signed the bill.
“We’ll give this stage a shot, made in America, let’s see how well built it is,” he said.
The families applauded and cheered after Trump signed the bill and the president spent several minutes greeting and speaking with them afterward.