The Senate is looking toward a vote next week on a disaster aid package, according to a Tuesday CQ report.
The multibillion-dollar bill has not been finalized, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he still has hopes for a disaster relief package by the Memorial Day recess.
“We’re going to have a vote next week,” McConnell said. “I hope it’s a vote on a deal that has been reached with both sides of the aisle and the White House.”
A key difference has been between President Donald Trump and congressional Democrats on how much aid should go to Puerto Rico, which was hit by two hurricanes in 2017.
“There is some good news,” Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on the Senate floor Tuesday. “I’m encouraged that Republicans have moved in our direction when it comes to Puerto Rico. I hope we can find agreement and put this totally unnecessary political fight behind us and finally deliver relief to disaster-stricken Americans — wherever they may be.”
Other obstacles have been the administration’s request for $4.5 billion in funding to handle a surge of migrants arriving at the southern border, and a request last week by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ark.) to include harbor maintenance funding.
The relief package includes badly-needed installation funding for recent disaster-related damages, as On Base has reported.
Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Tia Dufour