House passes disaster aid package

By

National News

May 10, 2019 - 4:37 PM

Debris from Hurricane Michael in 2018 in Florida. The House passed a $19.2 billion disaster aid package. (Scott Olson/Getty Images/TNS)

WASHINGTON — The House passed a $19.2 billion disaster aid package to help victims of recent storms and flooding rebuild, with the price tag growing by about $1.8 billion on the floor through amendments to add funds for repairing damaged military facilities, highways, levees, dams and more.

The vote was 257-150, with 34 Republicans crossing the aisle to support the bill drafted by the Democratic majority. President Donald Trump and GOP leaders tried to tamp down defections on the bill, which they oppose because it would pump more money into Puerto Rico, which hasn’t yet been able to spend much of the $20 billion previously appropriated after 2017’s Hurricane Maria.

Republicans are focused on the Senate, where bipartisan negotiations are ongoing on a separate aid package. The White House and Republicans want to impose more financial controls on Puerto Rico’s management of funds run through the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant program.

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