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.

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Pence to continue traveling despite aides testing positive for COVID-19

Marc Short with Pence in March. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force. Pence and second lady Karen Pence tested negative for the virus on Sunday morning, according to the vice president's office.

AOC: "Extremely important" that Biden offer Bernie Sanders a Cabinet position

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that she believes it's "extremely important" that Joe Biden offer Sen. Bernie Sanders and other progressive leaders Cabinet positions if he's elected president.

The big picture: Ocasio-Cortez was pressed repeatedly on policy differences between her and the more moderate Biden, including her opposition to fracking and support for Medicare for All. She responded that it would be a "privilege" and a "luxury" to be able to lobby a Biden administration on progressive issues, insisting that the focus right now should be on winning the White House.

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White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows defended Vice President Pence's decision to continue traveling and campaigning despite his exposure to aides who have tested positive for COVID-19, saying Sunday that Pence is exempt from CDC guidelines because he is "essential personnel."

Why it matters: CDC guidelines call for people who have been exposed to the virus to quarantine for 14 days. Meadows said on CNN's "State of the Union" that Pence will wear a mask when he travels and argued that "he's not just campaigning," pointing to the Israel-Sudan normalization agreement announced by the White House last week.