House Passes $19.1 Billion Disaster-Aid Package over Trump’s Objections

(Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

The House on Friday passed a $19.1 billion disaster-aid package despite the opposition of President Trump, who blasted the measure in a Thursday night tweet.

The measure passed 257–150, with 34 Republicans voting in favor despite Trump’s objections. It would allocate emergency funds to areas hit recently by wildfires, hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes, extend the National Flood Insurance Program until September 30, provide more money for the Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps to repair military facilities damaged by hurricanes, and more money for the Federal Highway Administration’s emergency-relief program.

Among the bill’s provisions is $600 million in aid to Puerto Rico. Trump has chafed in particular at Puerto Rico’s additional requests for aid after two Category 5 hurricanes, Maria and Irma, devastated the island in 2017. He has accused territorial leaders of mismanaging the aid already granted by the federal government, and claimed that the island has more than enough funding to rebuild already.

“I know that we can do better,” House minority leader Kevin McCarthy said on the House floor, speaking about the GOP’s opposition to the package. “I’ve spoken to the president. I’ve spoken to the leader on the Senate side. I believe that we can solve this all by next week.”

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday that, “the Republican Senate has done nothing.”

“While they delay and drag their feet, the devastating floods have wreaked havoc and historic damage in the Midwest,” she said.

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