The Senate rejected disaster-relief proposals from both Democrats and Republicans on Monday. Politico says the legislation’s fate is now uncertain after the House passed a $14.2 billion aid package in January. Communities hit hard by disasters have waited months for Congress to approve additional federal aid. States from the Southeast all the way to California have been battered by hurricanes, wildfires, tornadoes, and now floods in the Midwest and Plains states. The $13.5 billion Senate aid package included $3 billion for farm disaster aid, as well as $150 million to rebuild rural facilities.
Republicans criticized Democratic presidential candidates in the Senate, many of whom recently campaigned in Iowa, for voting against the GOP plan. It included assistance for Midwestern states recovering from catastrophic flooding last month. Democrats blame Republicans because the GOP took out aid money for Puerto Rico that was included in the House plan. Lawmakers planned to introduce new legislation as early as Tuesday that would provide billions of dollars in new disaster funds for farm-belt states that were hit by the recent flooding.