Senate negotiations for a disaster relief package have broken down, meaning regions needing emergency aid will apparently have to wait until after Congress returns from a two-week recess, Politico reported Tuesday.
The collapse in talks comes after the Senate last week rejected two competing proposals that would have provided at least $13 billion in aid to communities damaged by hurricanes, wildfires and severe flooding in recent months.
The talks have largely broken down over a fight on additional funding for Puerto Rico, which has been a sticking point for President Donald Trump and Democrats, The Hill reported.
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby said Republicans "made a serious, substantial offer over the weekend to [Democrats] that solved the disaster and they categorically rejected it."
A senior Senate Democratic aide, however, told The Hill the GOP offer did not guarantee new funding for Puerto Rico or ensure that money already allocated to them would actually be given out.
"Instead, the Republican plan inflates a pot of funding that all disasters can take from and says Puerto Rico is eligible only after it spends the funding that the administration is refusing to release," the aide stressed.
A decision on emergency aid has been held up since December, due largely to Trump's unsubstantiated claims Puerto Rico should not receive any more funds because its politicians have mismanaged federal money already given the island, according to Politico.
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