President Donald Trump is expected to sign the $19.1 billion disaster aid bill that he has described as “great” and just got approval by the U.S. Congress.
The House of Representatives finally passed the long-delayed bill on Monday, June 3, by a wide bipartisan margin, 354 to 58, The Associated Press reported.
The legislation will now go to President Trump for his signature after the Senate easily approved the measure by an 85-8 vote last month.
The disaster aid bill will help communities around the United States recover from hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, and fires.
In a tweet late on Monday, President Trump hailed the House passage, saying “Farmers, Puerto Rico, and all will be very happy.”
The House members passed the measure after returning from a 10-day recess. All 222 Democrats and some 132 Republicans voted “yes” for the bill, including the GOP’s top leaders and many of its legislators from disaster-hit areas. Fifty-eight Republicans voted “no,” including many of the party’s most conservative members.
Three times during the break, Republican lawmakers blocked the passage by voice vote under a special procedure Democrats employed that would have allowed approval if no one objected.
The bill languished for months over disputes including additional aid for Puerto Rico, which President Trump opposed. It also faced delays as the White House wanted to attach a $4.5 billion emergency spending request for the Southwest border to the disaster bill.
The two sides have not reached an agreement but narrowed their differences and a separate vote for a border spending measure is expected in coming weeks.
Includes reporting from The Associated Press
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