Border Wall, Puerto Rico Funding Differences Slowing Disaster Aid Package

Border Wall, Puerto Rico Funding Differences Slowing Disaster Aid Package

Agreement on a bipartisan disaster aid bill slowed Tuesday after the GOP-controlled Senate’s top appropriator said the administration and House are raising new objections, Roll Call reported.

“I don’t know of a disaster aid bill in recent years that has been this protracted,” Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) said.

The ongoing disaster aid negotiations have become a critical issue for a number of DOD installations that have suffered extensive disaster damage, as ADC has reported.

“We keep working on it and working on it and working on it,” Shelby said. “It’s got some obstacles — some of them coming from the White House, some of them coming from the Democrats.”

The White House wants the aid package to include an additional $4.5 billion in border-related spending, a request congressional Democrats have dismissed.

“That’s something the Democrats have signaled they are not interested in at all,” Shelby said. He also said some Democrat proposals are “not acceptable” to Republicans.

President Trump has raised objections over the level of aid Democrats seek for Puerto Rico in the bill.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) downplayed any Democratic objections around the White House’s border funding request.

“I don’t think it’s a complication,” McConnell said. “It’s a separate request.”

Army photo by Sgt. James McCann

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