$81B Disaster Relief Package Passes House, Stalls in Senate before Adjourning for Holidays

Late Thursday, The U.S. House of Representatives passed an $81 billion disaster relief package to provide aid to communities impacted by hurricanes Florida, Puerto Rico, Texas, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as wildfires in Northern and Southern California.

The House measure was met with resistance in the Senate Thursday evening, where Senate Republican leaders determined it would not be possible to gain a consensus to pass the measure before adjourning for the holidays. Senate Democrats also expressed concerns with the measure, largely citing inadequacies in assistance for Puerto Rico’s Medicaid program and provisions around potential tax increases in affected areas.

The House nearly doubled the amount of disaster relief funds in their bill compared to the White House’s request from last month. The House measure is now expected to sit for several weeks until Congress returns after the holidays.