On Monday, the Republicans in the Senate threw fire at the Democrats for blocking a bill for disaster relief that was meant to help the Midwestern regions that were flooded. Apparently, they blocked it because the money wasn’t going to go far enough to help those that are in Puerto Rico.
Sen. David Perdue originally proposed the bill, which would provide $13.5 billion in funding for relief in the areas of the United States that have recently been hit by natural disasters. The vote of 44-49 wasn’t enough for a majority and it was most certainly not enough to break through the Democratic obstruction.
The Senate Democrats are seeking an additional $700 million to provide disaster aid for Puerto Rico and several other states. They’re also looking to rebuild the failing water systems in the country. Democrats are attempting to make the Trump administration release billions of dollars in funds that have already been approved for other things. The Democrats have been accused of playing partisan politics.
According to Sen. Marco Rubio: “Disaster funding should not be a partisan issue, yet for months, Congress has repeatedly played politics with much-needed aid at the expense of local communities in Florida, Puerto Rico, and around the nation that are struggling to recover.”
Sen. Chuck Grassley from Iowa has said that the proposed funding “would not have left anyone in the lurch from Iowa to Puerto Rico.” He’s also accused the Democrats of being hypocrites for criticizing “Washington political games while on the campaign trail in Iowa, but then return to the Capitol only to play political games themselves.”
The Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, has accused the Democrats of preventing the relief funds from being of use and he also pointed out that another relief package had passed in the house, which would be vetoed by Trump.
Before the vote took place on Monday, Mitch McConnell said: “This is no time for my colleagues across the aisle to prioritize a political fight with the president ahead of the urgent needs of communities across America.”
President Trump, who hasn’t been shy about criticizing the government of Puerto Rico, has denied the Democrats demands to provide more aid to Puerto Rico, which was hit by two hurricanes in 2017. On Monday, Trump jumped on Twitter to criticize Puerto Rico’s government for being corrupt and incompetent. “The people of Puerto Rico are GREAT, but the politicians are incompetent or corrupt. Puerto Rico got far more money than Texas & Florida combined, yet their government can’t do anything right, the place is a mess – nothing works.”
Just last week, Trump said that administration had already sent $91 billion to Puerto Rico when Texas only received $29 billion, and Florida received $12 billion. “(Puerto Rico) has to spend the money wisely. They don’t know how to spend the money and they’re not spending it wisely,” said President Trump.
The future is unclear, but the most logical option is for the Senate to pass a more narrow bill to make sure that it gets into the House-Senate conference committee. The Democrats have insisted that they won’t agree to anything that doesn’t provide Puerto Rico with more help.