Senators deadlock over disaster relief distribution

Washington-DC

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Disaster relief for Midwest flooding victims has hit a political roadblock on Capitol Hill.

Democrats and Republicans are at odds over how much money should go to Puerto Rico, which was slammed by Hurricane Maria in 2017, and that has stalled the $13.5 billion package in the Senate.

“Grain gone,” Reublican Sen. Joni Ernst said, describing the aftermath of historic flooding in her state of Iowa and elsewhere along the Missouri River. “It is devastating and it is heartbreaking.”

She blamed Democrats for blocking the bill.

“Shame on them,” she said.

Her fellow Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley says there’s no reason to delay.

“Disasters are usually noncontroversial that they ought to be funded because the law requires it,” he said.

The relief package diverted additional money to Puerto Rico to the Midwest flooding victims, which Democrats aren’t willing to abide. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., said the people of Puerto Rico shouldn’t suffer more because of the Midwest flooding.

“This legislation should help the get the job done, not set them back,” he said on the Senate floor.

Democrats are pushing a plan that has more money for both the Midwest and Puerto Rico, but President Donald Trump has already come out against it, arguing the island has received more than enough already.

Grassley said Puerto Rico still has unspent federal disaster relief money.

“When that money’s all spent, there will be more money if there’s not enough there,” he said.

The need in his state, he said, is urgent.

“Iowans don’t have time to wait, but the money is going to be there,” he said.

The fate of the bill is unclear. Its author says he is working on figuring out the next steps.

A Federal Emergency Management Agency says it has more than enough money to continue providing aid.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Recent Videos

WDA_Championship

Thumbnail for the video titled "WDA_Championship"

Boys HS Tennis Sept. 23

Thumbnail for the video titled "Boys HS Tennis Sept. 23"

Kidder County-Washburn

Thumbnail for the video titled "Kidder County-Washburn"

Hostfest Dancers

Thumbnail for the video titled "Hostfest Dancers"

Child Abuse Arrest

Thumbnail for the video titled "Child Abuse Arrest"

Minot Budget Approved

Thumbnail for the video titled "Minot Budget Approved"

U-Mary Volleyball

Thumbnail for the video titled "U-Mary Volleyball"

Century Volleyball

Thumbnail for the video titled "Century Volleyball"

U-Mary Men's Soccer

Thumbnail for the video titled "U-Mary Men's Soccer"

Monday, September 23rd, 2019 - KX Storm Team Evening Forecast - Dave Holder

Thumbnail for the video titled "Monday, September 23rd, 2019 - KX Storm Team Evening Forecast - Dave Holder"

Flooding

Thumbnail for the video titled "Flooding"

Remains Identified

Thumbnail for the video titled "Remains Identified"

KX Storm Team Full Evening Forecast w/Tom Schrader

Thumbnail for the video titled "KX Storm Team Full Evening Forecast w/Tom Schrader"

Mosque

Thumbnail for the video titled "Mosque"

Portable Signs

Thumbnail for the video titled "Portable Signs"

Vents and Winter

Thumbnail for the video titled "Vents and Winter"

KX Storm Team #OneMinuteForecast w/Tom Schrader

Thumbnail for the video titled "KX Storm Team #OneMinuteForecast w/Tom Schrader"

JL

Thumbnail for the video titled "JL"

Amber's Monday Morning One Minute Forecast 9/23

Thumbnail for the video titled "Amber's Monday Morning One Minute Forecast 9/23"

A Very Warm Start To Fall But A Change Is Coming

Thumbnail for the video titled "A Very Warm Start To Fall But A Change Is Coming"
More Video

KX News Trending Stories

Don't Miss