Senate Democrats blocked a $13.5 billion disaster relief bill because they were not satisfied with the $610 million earmarked for Puerto Rico, saying it was not enough.
The legislation was intended to provide relief for areas hit by recent Midwest floods, Hurricanes Florence and Michael, and California wildfires, according to Bloomberg.
Other states affected North Carolina, Georgia and Florida, with some of the money intended to help rebuild military bases.
The Senate’s amended bill did not include funding authorized by the House to bolster flood protection and repair the electrical grid in Puerto Rico, and failed to advance on a 44-49 vote, Bloomberg reported.
“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,” Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said.
Sen. David Purdue, R-Ga., ripped Democrats on Twitter for what he characterized as a political stunt.
“I have never been more frustrated as a United States Senator than I am right now,” he tweeted. “This is pure partisan politics.”
I have never been more frustrated as a United States Senator than I am right now. This is pure partisan politics. https://t.co/tXSSsJFkqJ
— David Perdue (@sendavidperdue) April 1, 2019
Purdue said later in a release the president and the GOP tried to reach a compromise with the opposition, according to The Daily Caller.
“Washington has reached a new low — it’s been nearly six months since Hurricane Michael ravaged Georgia and other states across the country, and Congress has failed to help the very people it claims to represent,” he said. “President [Donald] Trump reached across the aisle, along with other Republicans, to compromise on disaster relief, but only one Democrat was willing to work with us.”
“Do not be fooled — Senate Democrats are using farmers in the Southeast and the people of Puerto Rico as pawns in their political game,” he continued. “It is hypocritical that Democrats say they want to help Puerto Rico recover, and yet they obstruct this disaster relief.”
In a series of tweets, President Trump called out Democrats for killing the bill, saying “Puerto Rico has already been scheduled to receive more hurricane relief funding than any ‘place’ in history.”
Trump said that while the people in Purto Rico are great, the politicians are either incompetent or corrupt, naming the “crazed” mayor of San Juan specifically — this being Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, a CNN favorite.
He said Puerto Rico got $91 billion in hurricane relief money, which is disputed by officials in Puerto Rico and by the media.
The president added: “The best thing that ever happened to Puerto Rico is President Donald J. Trump.”
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