Lawmakers debate disaster relief package


WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — After months of negotiations and a failed vote last month, the House passed on Friday a relief package to help disaster victims across the country.

But the plan faces tough hurdles ahead.

Midwest farmers are grappling with the aftermath of devastating floods and some are gearing up for more ahead.

Amid that reality, House passed a multi-billion-dollar disaster relief package.

The plan would help hundreds of communities devastated by natural disasters over the past two years.

It includes $3 billion for victims of this year’s floods.

Democrat Cindy Axne says they need help now back in Iowa.

“We’re literally talking about communities being able to get back on their feet and thrive,” Axne said.

The plan also includes money for victims of last year’s hurricanes and wildfires. It also includes more funds for Puerto Rico, which is still recovering from Hurricane Maria in 2017.

That’s why President Donald Trump tweeted Republicans to vote against it.

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy says Senate Republicans will reject this bill.

“The president said he’s not going to sign it,” McCarthy of California said. “The bill does not meet the criteria of both of us working together.”

McCarthy wants Democrats to negotiate yet another bill that sends less money to Puerto Rico and includes funds to deal with immigration on the Mexican border.

Iowa Democrat Abby Finkenauer says senators need to stand up to the president.

“It’s unconscionable, and this is not how you get things done here,” Finkenauer said. “There’s no reason we should be pitting disasters against each other. We’re talking about American families.”

The bill could be voted on in the Senate as early as next week.

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