Trump signs long-awaited $19.1B disaster aid bill

Trump signs long-awaited $19.1B disaster aid bill
© Getty

President TrumpDonald John TrumpPence: It's not a "foregone conclusion" that lawmakers impeach Trump FBI identifies Pensacola shooter as Saudi Royal Saudi Air Force second lieutenant Trump calls Warren 'Pocahontas,' knocks wealth tax MORE on Thursday signed the $19.1 billion disaster relief package that passed the House on Monday.

"Just signed Disaster Aid Bill to help Americans who have been hit by recent catastrophic storms. So important for our GREAT American farmers and ranchers. Help for GA, FL, IA, NE, NC, and CA. Puerto Rico should love President Trump. Without me, they would have been shut out!" he tweeted Thursday afternoon. 

Trump agreed to support the legislation — aimed at providing funding to recovery efforts in areas affected by wildfires, hurricanes and flooding — ahead of Congress’s Memorial Day recess despite the Senate opting not to comply with the administration's request to include $4.5 billion in border funding.

ADVERTISEMENT

Democrats also gained a significant win with the bill including $900 million — $600 million in food stamp money and an additional $300 million in Housing and Urban Development grants — for Puerto Rico, a provision initially opposed by Trump, who argued the amount was excessive and alleged the island previously mismanaged the aid sent following Hurricane Maria.

The long-stalled disaster aid bill passed the upper chamber on May 23 after GOP senators struck a deal with Trump to drop certain provisions from the legislation.

The House sought to move the bill three times by unanimous consent during Congress’s Memorial Day recess, but the vote was blocked by three conservative members — GOP Reps. Chip RoyCharles (Chip) Eugene RoyTrump says he will 'temporarily hold off' on declaring Mexican drug cartels as terror organization Trump says he will designate Mexican drug cartels as terror organizations Texas GOP rep predicts heavy Democratic presence in state ahead of 2020 MORE (Texas), Thomas MassieThomas Harold MassieThe Hill's Morning Report — Pelosi makes it official: Trump will be impeached Hillicon Valley: House passes anti-robocall bill | Senators inch forward on privacy legislation | Trump escalates fight over tech tax | Illinois families sue TikTok | Senators get classified briefing on ransomware House passes anti-robocall bill MORE (Ky.) and John RoseJohn Williams RoseFrom state agriculture departments to Congress: Our farmers need the USMCA Trump signs long-awaited .1B disaster aid bill 58 GOP lawmakers vote against disaster aid bill MORE (Tenn.) — moves that each time sparked a flurry of bipartisan criticism.

Republican critics of the bill cited concerns with its impact on the national debt and disapproval of its lack of border funding.

“The American people send their representatives to Washington to represent them. They deserve to see how we vote. While I'm happy the Speaker chose to go back to regular procedure, I am still troubled we're poised to spend $19 billion that is not paid for when we are racking up $100 million an hour in national debt,” Roy said on the floor Monday.