The Home handed a $17 billion catastrophe aid package deal over President Trump’s objections Friday, leaving it now to the Republican-led Senate to interrupt the logjam and get help to hard-hit communities, together with Puerto Rico.
Forward of the vote, Trump referred to as on Republicans to reject the catastrophe aid invoice offering hundreds of thousands in funding to areas ravaged by pure catastrophe in the previous few years.
Late Thursday night, the president tweeted his opposition to the invoice, calling it the “BAD DEMOCRAT Catastrophe Supplemental Invoice” and urging Home Republicans to vote in opposition to it. Hours later, round 11 p.m., he added that his get together “should stick collectively.”
Nonetheless, 34 Home Republicans joined Democrats to cross the sweeping catastrophe aid package deal 257-150 that would supply further monetary assist to locations throughout the nation besieged by hurricanes, wildfires and flooding since 2017.
The most important sticking level for Trump is the further funding Democrats included to assist Puerto Rico rebuild after Hurricane Maria severely broken the island and killed 3,000 folks, together with $600 million for diet help.
Trump has pushed again in opposition to giving extra money to Puerto Rico, incorrectly stating that the federal authorities has already allotted $91 billion to assist Puerto Rico. It’s truly promised about half of that quantity and spent solely $11 billion.
At a rally within the Florida Panhandle this week, an space devastated by Hurricane Michael in 2018, Trump falsely advised that giving extra money to Puerto Rico would shrink the pool for different areas that want it.
Senate Republicans have indicated a willingness to bend on funding for Puerto Rico, nevertheless it’s unclear whether or not Trump would agree.
Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.), the primary Puerto Rican girl to be elected to Congress, stated in a ground speech that it’s immoral and in opposition to U.S. values to disclaim assist to these struggling in Puerto Rico.
“I pray, pray this invoice, which rightfully assists so many different elements of the union, of our nation, will encourage the senate eventually to behave and the president to signal this badly wanted assist into regulation,” Velazquez stated. “This can be a matter of life and loss of life for thus many in Puerto Rico.”
With little different laws anticipated to cross the divided Congress this yr, the package deal may additionally get slowed down by different coverage requests.
The White Home, for one, needs the catastrophe aid invoice to incorporate $4.5 billion in emergency border spending for use for humanitarian and safety functions.
Some Republicans stated they voted in opposition to the invoice as a result of it doesn’t embrace border funding.
“This invoice does nothing to deal with this disaster,” Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas) stated. “We have now no alternative however to work collectively on this concern. … Sadly, I’ve to oppose this invoice because it at the moment stands.”
However different Republicans, principally these representing areas devastated by pure disasters, voted to advance the invoice.
Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.), whose state was severely flooded in March, spoke in favor of a bipartisan modification so as to add extra money for watershed safety after which voted for the underlying invoice.
“Our communities are getting again on their ft, however we’d like this program shortly to deal with severe and long-term damages to the infrastructure and our land,” he stated.
The Home invoice is a revised model of 1 handed in January that was by no means taken up by the Senate.
“We will’t let partisan politics stall this significant invoice and we should not flip our backs on our communities once they’re recovering from devastating damages,” stated Rep. Cindy Axne (D-Iowa). ”That’s not who we’re as Iowans, and that’s not who we’re as People.”