Disaster Aid May Not Make It Into Next Spending Bill
Lawmakers from Texas and Florida are exceedingly anxious that hurricane recovery aid will be sidelined in next week’s government funding scramble amid internal disputes over who should get how much cash.
Congress was widely expected to approve its next multibillion-dollar disaster request as part of the year-end spending bill. But with just days to go until the Dec. 22 deadline when government funding expires, lawmakers are still haggling over the fine points of the next round of disaster aid.
House GOP leaders are now preparing to take up a stopgap spending bill next week that would not include any money for hurricane relief, potentially causing problems for passage if members from affected states rebel.
In a closed-door meeting Wednesday afternoon, GOP leaders cautioned lawmakers that the disaster package may not be ready by next week, according to members who were in the room.
The biggest holdup is over how much money should be spent on rebuilding in the Lone Star state, according to lawmakers briefed on the talks. Appropriators are still sifting through a massive binder of requests, worth over $61 billion, from Texans alone.