Congress Reaches Deal on Disaster Relief After Six-Month Fight

06:08PM May 23, 2019
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(Bloomberg) -- Lawmakers said they agreed to a $19.1 billion disaster-aid bill after months of disagreement and that President Donald Trump said he will sign it.

Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby called the agreement a "good deal." He added, "the president said OK" and said House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey, a Democrat, also supports it.

The Senate may vote on the measure as soon as Thursday.

The plan would provide relief for areas hit by Midwest floods, Hurricanes Florence and Michael, and California wildfires. It includes $900 million for Puerto Rico, Shelby said.

For months the major obstacle to passing the measure was Trump’s opposition to providing aid to Puerto Rico. In April, Trump told Senate Republicans that Puerto Rico squandered previous disaster assistance and should receive no more. He argued that the island is using funds to pay off its debts, a charge that Puerto Rican officials deny.

The agreement omits Trump’s demand for funds to address the rising number of migrants reaching the U.S. border with Mexico.

 

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