Soldiers from the California Army National Guard’s 649th Engineer Company, 579th Engineer Battalion, 49th Military Police Brigade, from Chico, California, conduct search and debris clearing operations Nov. 17, 2018, in Paradise, California. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Crystal Housman)

Congress on Cusp of Delivering Long-Overdue Disaster Aid, Including for California Wildfires

The Senate on Thursday passed a long-overdue $19 billion disaster aid bill by a broad bipartisan vote, but only after Democrats insisted on tossing out President Donald Trump’s $4.5 billion request to handle an unprecedented influx of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The relief measure would deliver money to southern states suffering from last fall’s hurricanes, Midwestern states deluged with springtime floods, and fire-ravaged rural California, among others. Puerto Rico would get help for hurricane recovery from the legislation, which has more than doubled in size since the House first addressed the issue last year.

The Senate approved the bill by an 85-8 vote. House lawmakers have left for the Memorial Day recess but the chamber probably will try to pass the bill by voice vote Friday, said a spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

Read more from the Associated Press

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