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Tags: puerto rico | democrats | disaster | funds | farmers | midwest | flooding

Senate Dems Block Disaster Relief Bill Over Puerto Rico Funds

united states military personnel help with aid in puerto rico
U.S. military personnel organize aid and supplies for residents affected by Hurricane Maria in Barranquitas, Puerto Rico. (Ricardo Arduengo/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 01 April 2019 07:21 PM EDT

Senate Democrats on Monday stonewalled a massive disaster relief bill from getting to a final floor vote over what they say is a lack of funds for Puerto Rico, The Washington Post reports.

The proposal, which failed in a 44-49 vote, would have provided $600 million in nutrition assistance to Puerto Rico, but no additional funds to bolster flood protection and repair the electrical grid.

The Caribbean island is still reeling from back-to-back hurricanes in 2017 that uprooted trees, destroyed homes and knocked out power to the entire island.   

The House passed a $14.2 billion disaster recovery bill earlier this year that included funds that could be used by Puerto Rico to rebuild its water systems.

The GOP Senate version, introduced by Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., in late February, set aside $13 billion for aid to Southern farmers, California communities devastated by last summer's wildfire, and rebuilding help for hurricane-hit states such as Florida, Georgia and North Carolina. Hurricane-damaged military bases in Florida and North Carolina would receive rebuilding funds.

President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly criticized Puerto Rico, last week told Senate Republicans the island squandered previous disaster assistance and should not receive more money.

"Democrats should stop fighting Sen. David Perdue's disaster relief bill. They are blocking funding and relief for our great farmers and rural America!" Trump tweeted Monday ahead of the Senate vote.

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A massive disaster relief bill failed to reach a final Senate floor vote, stonewalled by Senate Democrats on Monday over what they say is a lack of funds for Puerto Rico.
puerto rico, democrats, disaster, funds, farmers, midwest, flooding
Monday, 01 April 2019 07:21 PM
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