Washington lawmakers remain deadlocked on disaster relief bill


WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – The 2019 hurricane season is less than two months away, but in Washington, a bill to help Americans still recovering from last year’s storms remains deadlocked.

Vice President Mike Pence spent Friday in Iowa touring farms and homes washed out by spring floods.

“Iowa needs disaster assistance and Congress needs to act,” Pence declared.

Lawmakers remain deadlocked on a bill to provide disaster relief for victims of last year’s fires, floods and hurricanes.

Senator Rick Scott said Florida’s Panhandle region is still struggling six months after Hurricane Michael.

The Air Force is threatening to stop work rebuilding Tyndall Air Force Base near Panama City if Congress continues to delay.

Normally, disaster relief bills are not controversial but this one is different, as the president and senators from both parties argue about how much money should go to Puerto Rico.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Democrats did not support the latest disaster relief bill because Republicans cut money for Puerto Rico in favor of money for Midwest farmers. 

“We believe we all ought to pull together and help American citizens wherever they are,” Sen. Schumer said.

Republicans say the bill included plenty of money for the island.

“We gotta take care of Florida. We’ve got to take care of Puerto Rico, and we’ve got to get rid of politics,” Sen. Scott said.

Several GOP senators met with President Trump on Thursday to discuss the situation, but Congress is now on a two week recess, meaning any progress on disaster relief will have to wait.

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