Congress Finally Approves $19B Disaster Aid Bill

Trump deletes tweet after calling for Senate to approve bill it passed 2 weeks ago
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 4, 2019 12:32 AM CDT
Congress Finally Approves $19B Disaster Aid Bill
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., second from right, leaves the House chamber, Monday June 3, 2019, after the House voted to approve a $19 billion disaster aid bill, breaking a conservative blockade and sending the measure to President Trump, who is expected to sign it.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

A long-delayed $19.1 billion disaster aid bill sailed through the House on Monday and headed to President Trump for his expected signature, overcoming months of infighting, misjudgment, and a feud between Trump and congressional Democrats. Lawmakers gave the measure final congressional approval by 354-58 in the House's first significant action after returning from a 10-day recess. It was backed by all 222 voting Democrats and 132 Republicans, including the GOP's top leaders and many of its legislators from areas hit by hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, and fires, the AP reports. Fifty-eight Republicans voted "no," including many of the party's most conservative members.

Trump hailed passage of the bill, tweeting, "Farmers, Puerto Rico and all will be very happy." He also said: "Great, now we will get it done in the Senate," but that chamber had already passed the bill by a sweeping 85-8 vote on May 23, a margin that reflected a consensus that the bill is long overdue. Trump later deleted the tweet, USA Today reports. Trump, "you’re clearly confused," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a tweet. "The Senate passed the bill two weeks ago. Hopefully after blocking it for so long, you’re not too confused to sign it!" Conservative Republicans in the House held up the bill last week, objecting on three occasions to efforts by Democratic leaders to pass the bill by unanimous consent during the recess. They said the legislation shouldn't be rushed through without a recorded vote.

(More disaster relief stories.)

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