Lead co-sponsor of 9/11 Victims Fund bill says she wasn't invited to the White House bill signing

By Emily Tillett

/ CBS News

Trump praises 9/11 first responders

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, the lead co-sponsor of the 9/11 Victims Fund, was snubbed by the White House on Monday, when President Trump signed the bill into law during a Rose Garden ceremony, her office said.

A White House official told the print pool reporter that all members of Congress had been invited, but the New York Democrat's office said to CBS News in a statement that Maloney "did not receive an invite to today's bill signing nor did a staff member receive one on her behalf." The legislation provides financial aid to first responders and survivors of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks to help them pay their health care bills.

NEW YORK, NY – JUNE 15: U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) speaks at a protest calling for the impeachment of U.S. President Donald Trump on June 15, 2019 in New York City. / Getty Images

Maloney was a vocal supporter of the bill long before it attracted national attention. She had been wearing a FDNY firefighter's jacket since February and vowed to never take it off until her colleagues passed legislation that would fully compensate the victims of the 9/11 attack and their families. She even wore the heavy coat at this year's Met Gala dinner in New York City.

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – MAY 06: Congesswoman Carolyn B. Maloney attends The 2019 Met Gala Celebrating Camp: Notes on Fashion at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 06, 2019 in New York City. / Getty Images

At the time, she reportedly said, "I do not intend to take it off until we pass this bill."

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On Monday, Mr. Trump, surrounded by dozens of first responders and their families directly impacted by the legislation, did not recognize any Democrats who were crucial to securing support for the bill beyond Maloney's efforts — including New York Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.

However, the president did single out Reps. Chris Collins, Mark Meadows and Deb Fischer, among other Republicans, for thanks.

With Mr. Trump's signature, the reauthorization allows 9/11 victims and their families to file claims for necessary medical funds through 2090 but they will be paid out through 2092. The bill overwhelmingly passed in the Senate in a 97 to 2 vote last week.

"The true Twin Towers of New York are the FDNY and the NYPD, and fully funding and permanently authorizing the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund is the least we can do to honor their sacrifices," Maloney said after the bill's passage.

First published on July 29, 2019 / 1:53 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Emily Tillett emily-tillett-220x140.png

Emily Tillett is a politics reporter and video editor for CBS News Digital

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