Trump, Republicans Blast Dems For Blocking Disaster Relief Bill

Posted: Apr 02, 2019 8:22 AM
Trump, Republicans Blast Dems For Blocking Disaster Relief Bill

Source: AP Photo/Alex Brandon

President Trump and Senate Republicans blasted Democrats for blocking a $13.5 billion disaster relief bill that would have helped states affected by flooding, wildfires, and other natural disasters due to disagreement over funding for Puerto Rico.

The measure failed (44-49) to reach the 60 votes needed to proceed to final consideration.

Democrats felt the $600 million for nutrition assistance was not enough to help the island after it was battered by Hurricane Maria.

President Trump argued that Puerto Rico has been given more than enough money for disaster relief.

He issued a series of tweets after the vote alleging that the politicians in Puerto Rico “are incompetent or corrupt” to have not been able to spend the money properly, noting the place was still a “mess.”

On Tuesday morning he doubled down.

“Puerto Rico got 91 Billion Dollars for the hurricane, more money than has ever been gotten for a hurricane before, & all their local politicians do is complain & ask for more money. The pols are grossly incompetent, spend the money foolishly or corruptly, & only take from USA,” he tweeted. 

He continued: “The best thing that ever happened to Puerto Rico is President Donald J. Trump. So many wonderful people, but with such bad Island leadership and with so much money wasted. Cannot continue to hurt our Farmers and States with these massive payments, and so little appreciation!”

Senate Republicans also accused their colleagues of playing politics with disaster relief.

"This is no time for our colleagues across the aisle to prioritize a political fight with the president ahead of the urgent needs of communities across our country,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, meanwhile, accused Democrats of being hypocritical for denouncing “Washington political games while on the campaign trail in Iowa, but then return[ing] to the Capitol only to play political games themselves.”

He added: "To my colleagues across the aisle who have been spending a lot of time in Iowa lately as presidential candidates ... how are you going to look Iowans in the eye and justify a vote against moving this disaster relief bill ahead?"