This year our country has been ravaged by natural disasters. From hurricanes to wild fires, we have taken some hard hits. The House Appropriations Committee is hoping to ease those blows as they set to release a whopping $81 billion aid package to affected communities.
Last month, the Trump administration put in a request for $44 billion in order to assist communities in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands affected by hurricanes.
The aid package that they are preparing to release is nearly double that.
While they are eager to help the hurting citizens, lawmakers are also under tremendous pressure to complete disaster relief aid before Congress is finished for the Christmas and New Years.
Lawmakers from those areas had panned the Trump administration request as too low to adequately help communities ravaged by the natural disasters.
Members of the Texas and Florida delegations have threatened to oppose a stopgap spending bill to avert a government shutdown if they don’t secure the disaster aid for their constituents.
The disaster aid could either be added onto the stopgap bill or considered as a standalone measure.
Either way, GOP leaders would have difficulty passing any spending package if they aren’t able to satisfy the lawmakers from disaster-stricken states.
Current government funding runs out after Friday. House GOP leaders are pushing a stopgap bill that would fund defense programs through next September but all other agencies until Jan. 19.
That stopgap bill is expected to fail in the Senate, due to opposition from nearly all Senate Democrats, who want parity for defense and domestic spending. At least eight Senate Democrats are needed to break a filibuster.