Caitlin Emma writes:
President Donald Trump Thursday signed a package that would deliver $19.1 billion in disaster relief to communities across the country that are still recovering from a spate of catastrophic hurricanes, wildfires and flooding.
The House passed the bill on Monday after Republicans successfully thwarted three attempts to fast-track the package. The Senate passed the bill before the Memorial Day recess, removing Trump’s request for billions in emergency border aid in a last-minute scramble because it was holding up the deal. The legislation was delayed for months prior to that amid partisan infighting.
The more than 70-page bill includes $600 million in nutrition assistance for Puerto Rico, in addition to $304 million in new Community Development Block Grant funding for the island and language ensuring that Puerto Rico can access billions in already-appropriated CDBG funds that Democrats accused the Trump administration of slow-walking.
It provides $3 billion for farmers to help cover crop losses, $1.6 billion to help repair damaged highways, $720 million for the U.S. Forest Service to help cover wildfire suppression efforts and $120 million to help the National Park Service repair damaged public lands.
The bill also provides $670 million to the Air Force to repair hurricane damage at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida and flooding damage at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska.
The package extends the National Flood Insurance Program through the Sept. 30 end of the fiscal year.