House passes $36.5 billion disaster aid bill - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

House passes $36.5 billion disaster aid bill

Posted: Updated:
WASHINGTON -

The House has passed a $36.5 billion measure that would replenish government disaster aid funds and help the cash-strapped government of Puerto Rico keep functioning in the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

The bipartisan 353-69 vote sent the measure to the Senate, which plans to take up the bill next week.

The bill combines $18.7 billion for Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster relief with $16 billion to permit the financially troubled federal flood insurance program pay an influx of Harvey-related claims. An additional $577 million would pay for western firefighting efforts.

Almost $5 billion of the funding could be used to help the government of Puerto Rico and its local jurisdictions stay functional as they endure unsustainable cash shortfalls in the aftermath of Maria.

___

1:50 p.m.

White House chief of staff John Kelly is defending President Donald Trump's commitment to the rebuilding of Puerto Rico.

He says at a White House briefing the U.S. will stand with Puerto Rico "until the job is done."

Kelly was asked about the president's tweets Thursday morning that Puerto Rico shouldn't expect federal aid to last "forever."

Kelly says the military and other emergency responders are trying very hard to work themselves out a job. He says the U.S. will "stand with those American citizens in Puerto Rico until the job is done."

___

12:05 p.m.

House Speaker Paul Ryan says the government needs to ensure that - in his words - "Puerto Rico can begin to stand on its own two feet."

The Wisconsin Republican says Washington also needs to help the U.S. territory rebuild its economy.

Ryan spoke hours after President Donald Trump suggested on Twitter that the federal role in assisting the island would be limited. Ryan is set to visit Puerto Rico on Friday.

He says Puerto Rico already faced difficult fiscal and economic problems before being devastated by Hurricane Maria.

Ryan says "we've got to do more to help Puerto Rico rebuild its own economy" but that the immediate humanitarian crisis must be addressed.

Ryan said he didn't know about Trump's tweets.

___

11:50 a.m.

The mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, says President Donald Trump's criticism of her hurricane-ravaged country is "unbecoming" of a commander in chief.

Carmen Yulin Cruz says on Twitter that Trump's words "seem more to come from a 'Hater in Chief."

Trump said earlier Thursday on Twitter that Puerto Rico has a "total lack of accountability" and "electric and all infrastructure was disaster before hurricanes." He says Puerto Rico shouldn't expect federal help "forever."

Puerto Rico has been reeling since Hurricane Maria struck three weeks ago. More than 45 deaths have been attributed to the storm, and 90 percent of the island is without electricity.

The mayor tweeted that Trump is "incapable of fulfilling the moral imperative to help the people of PR. Shame on you!"

___

7:35 a.m.

President Donald Trump is criticizing hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico and says the government can't keep federal aid there "forever."

Trump criticized the U.S. territory in a series of tweets Thursday. He says

The president adds: "We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!"

The House is on track to back Trump's request for billions more in disaster aid, $16 billion to pay flood insurance claims and emergency funding to help the cash-strapped government of Puerto Rico stay afloat.

Hurricane Maria struck Sept. 20. It has killed at least 45 people, and about 85 percent of Puerto Rico residents still lack electricity.

___

4:44 a.m.

The House is on track to deliver a sweeping bipartisan vote for President Donald Trump's request for additional disaster aid, $16 billion to pay flood insurance claims, and emergency funding to help the cash-strapped government of Puerto Rico stay afloat.

Thursday's hurricane aid package totals $36.5 billion and follows a $15.3 billion measure that passed last month. The measure sticks close to the White House request, ignoring - for now - huge demands from the powerful Florida and Texas delegations, who together pressed for some $40 billion more.

Several lawmakers from hurricane-hit states said a third interim aid request is anticipated shortly - with a final, huge hurricane recovering and rebuilding package likely to be acted upon by the end of the year.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Florida woman arrested after 3 dogs found in freezer

    Florida woman arrested after 3 dogs found in freezer

    Saturday, December 16 2017 7:30 PM EST2017-12-17 00:30:58 GMT

    PIERSON, Fla. (AP) - Sheriff's deputies checking the home of a Florida woman and her small child found three dead dogs in her freezer and a house covered in filth and cockroaches.    The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports that 35-year-old Victoria Kanger was arrested on Thursday and charged with child neglect.

    >>

    PIERSON, Fla. (AP) - Sheriff's deputies checking the home of a Florida woman and her small child found three dead dogs in her freezer and a house covered in filth and cockroaches.    The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports that 35-year-old Victoria Kanger was arrested on Thursday and charged with child neglect.

    >>
  • Possible suspension after deputy draws gun on motorcyclist

    Possible suspension after deputy draws gun on motorcyclist

    Saturday, December 16 2017 1:46 PM EST2017-12-16 18:46:15 GMT

    SEATTLE (AP) - A King County Sheriff's deputy who drew his gun on a motorcyclist while stopped at a red light faces a possible 10-day suspension.    KING-TV reports that the Chief of the King County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division recommended the suspension on Friday for 53-year-old Richard Rowe.

    >>

    SEATTLE (AP) - A King County Sheriff's deputy who drew his gun on a motorcyclist while stopped at a red light faces a possible 10-day suspension.    KING-TV reports that the Chief of the King County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division recommended the suspension on Friday for 53-year-old Richard Rowe.

    >>
  • See a movie in a theater every day for a year for only $90? Costco offering bundle with MoviePass and Fandor

    See a movie in a theater every day for a year for only $90? Costco offering bundle with MoviePass and Fandor

    Wednesday, December 13 2017 5:35 PM EST2017-12-13 22:35:41 GMT

    KHQ.COM - If you're into watching movies in theaters AND at home, Costco has a deal for you! The wholesaler is offering an evoucher that bundles a full year of access to MoviePass and Fandor for only $89.99.  MoviePass, which gives free movie tickets, usually costs $120 a year alone. Twelve months of Fandor, a movie streaming service, is $60. 

    >>

    KHQ.COM - If you're into watching movies in theaters AND at home, Costco has a deal for you! The wholesaler is offering an evoucher that bundles a full year of access to MoviePass and Fandor for only $89.99.  MoviePass, which gives free movie tickets, usually costs $120 a year alone. Twelve months of Fandor, a movie streaming service, is $60. 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • French sailor Gabart sets new solo round-the-world record

    French sailor Gabart sets new solo round-the-world record

    Sunday, December 17 2017 10:41 AM EST2017-12-17 15:41:26 GMT

    BREST, France (AP) - French sailor Francois Gabart broken the record Sunday for sailing around the world alone, circumnavigating the planet in just 42 days and 16 hours. That is more than six days faster than the last record, set by fellow Frenchman Thomas Coville last year.

    >>

    BREST, France (AP) - French sailor Francois Gabart broken the record Sunday for sailing around the world alone, circumnavigating the planet in just 42 days and 16 hours. That is more than six days faster than the last record, set by fellow Frenchman Thomas Coville last year.

    >>
  • Oil change turns into owl sighting, bird named ‘Shazam’

    Oil change turns into owl sighting, bird named ‘Shazam’

    Sunday, December 17 2017 10:11 AM EST2017-12-17 15:11:29 GMT

    SALEM, N.H. (AP) - A routine oil change has turned into an unusual owl sighting for one car owner. The police department in Salem, New Hampshire, said Friday a mechanic popped the hood of a car and found an Eastern Screech owl sitting on the engine. The department said the car owner had no idea how the owl got there. Police guessed he was either seeking warmth or chasing a mouse.

    >>

    SALEM, N.H. (AP) - A routine oil change has turned into an unusual owl sighting for one car owner. The police department in Salem, New Hampshire, said Friday a mechanic popped the hood of a car and found an Eastern Screech owl sitting on the engine. The department said the car owner had no idea how the owl got there. Police guessed he was either seeking warmth or chasing a mouse.

    >>
  • Special counsel obtains thousands of Trump transition emails

    Special counsel obtains thousands of Trump transition emails

    Sunday, December 17 2017 10:05 AM EST2017-12-17 15:05:28 GMT

    WASHINGTON (AP) - Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian contacts with President Donald Trump’s campaign has gained access to thousands of emails sent and received by Trump officials before the start of his administration, according to several people familiar with Trump’s transition organization. 

    >>

    WASHINGTON (AP) - Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian contacts with President Donald Trump’s campaign has gained access to thousands of emails sent and received by Trump officials before the start of his administration, according to several people familiar with Trump’s transition organization. 

    >>