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Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

9/11 first responders and victims impacted by the toxins at ground zero lobbied lawmakers on Monday to make the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund permanent before the fund's authorization expires next year, the New York Daily News reports.

Why it matters: The fund is running out of money — so much so that cases emerging after Feb. 1 will only get paid 30% of what earlier claims did. After 2020, no claims will be paid out if Congress doesn’t take action. 93,028 first responders or survivors were still being treated or monitored in the World Trade Center Health Program at the end of 2018, with about 800 new people signing up every month, according to the Daily News.

  • The Daily News also notes that the tally of victims after 9/11 will eventually exceed the 2,977 killed on the day of the attacks.

Support for the bill is bipartisan: Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), as well as Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Pete King (R-N.Y.) introduced legislation Monday to fully fund the VCF.

  • "The Daily Show's" Jon Stewart, who has long been an advocate of 9/11 first responders and victims and is on Capitol Hill pushing for the change this week, said he intends to highlight which lawmakers won’t support making this fund permanent.

Go deeper

21 mins ago - Health

CDC prepares tougher testing rules for international travelers

Travelers with their luggage arrive at a COVID-19 testing location at the airport in Los Angeles, Calif., on Nov. 23, 2021. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Tuesday night that it is working to impose stricter testing requirements for international travelers due to the spread of the new Omicron variant.

The big picture: The new rules would require all international travelers, regardless of vaccination status, to show a negative test taken a day before their flight to the U.S. Currently, the CDC says fully vaccinated travelers are allowed to show a test taken no more than three days before their departure, AP reports.

Republicans threaten to shut down government over vaccine mandates

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) in the Capitol in November 2020. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

Conservative Republicans in the House and Senate are planning to force a government shutdown Friday to deny funding needed to enforce the Biden administration's vaccine mandates on the private sector, according to Politico.

Why it matters: Congress has until the end of the week to pass a stopgap measure to extend funding into 2022, though objection from a small group of Republicans could shut down the government.

Electric car prices could go up before they come down

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The secret to affordable electric vehicles is cheaper batteries. But after years of falling prices, battery costs are now headed in the wrong direction.

Why it matters: Costlier batteries could drive up the price of electric vehicles — threatening the auto industry's transition away from fossil fuels, and, in turn, society's fight against climate change.