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Senate Fails to Pass Disaster Aid Bill
USAgNet - 04/03/2019

The Senate rejected competing Republican and Democratic disaster-relief proposals on Monday, leaving the legislation's fate uncertain after the House passed a $14.2 billion aid package, H.R. 268 (116), in January.

POLITICO reports that disaster-struck communities have been waiting months for lawmakers to approve additional federal aid, after states from the Southeast to California were battered by hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes and other severe weather.

The $13.5 billion Senate package included $3 billion in farm disaster aid, along with $150 million to rebuild rural facilities and $480 million in forest restoration funds.

Republicans on Monday criticized Democratic presidential candidates in the Senate - many of whom have campaigned in Iowa recently - for voting against the GOP plan, which includes assistance for Midwestern states recovering from catastrophic flooding last month.

Democrats blamed GOP leaders for ditching some of the funds for Puerto Rico that were included in the House plan, write POLITICO's Marianne LeVine and Jennifer Scholtes. They plan to introduce new legislation today to provide billions of dollars in new disaster funds for farm-belt states affected by the recent flooding, according to a senior aide.

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