After a lot of negotiation Congress was finally able to reach a deal to push a disaster-aid bill through that President Trump is willing to sign. The bill will bring approximately $19 billion to disaster relief funding and includes an extension of the national flood insurance program.
Up until this point the President had insisted that all the disaster-aid bill would do is provide beds for illegal immigrants. An outcome the republican establishment is clearly against. Luckily, the most recent version of this bill is expected to be approved by the President. Of course, it has to get through the House and Senate first—though it’s expected that this version of the bill will fly through easily.
The House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita Lowey, a Democrat expects it to be smooth sailing from here. “If the Senate passes the legislation today, House Democrats support clearing it through the House as soon as possible,” Lowey spokesman Evan Hollander said in a statement.
This bill would provide ample amount of federal funding to help combat floods, wildfires and hurricanes. All of which caused billions of dollars worth of damage in 2018. Climate change experts agree that these natural disasters are only going to become more pervasive as time goes on.
So what exactly has been preventing such an important bill from passing? In a name: Puerto Rico. The U.S. territory has been a talking point for Trump since it was ravaged from hurricanes months ago. Trump has asserted that the territory squandered millions of dollars of relief funding, and does not want any new federal funds to be sent there. It’s expected, though not yet known, that this new bill does exactly that.
Federal funding is imperative in keeping disaster relief effective and efficient. As natural disasters become more frequent, and more powerful, government funding will become even more important than it already is. Hopefully this bill passes quickly.