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Dems playing politics with disaster relief funds for the Midwest, Republicans say



Senate Republicans have blasted their Democratic colleagues for a disaster relief bill that was designed to help Midwest regions affected by flooding because it supposedly did not go far enough to help Puerto Rico .

The bill, originally sponsored by Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., Has proposed $ 1

3.5 billion in relief funding for areas recently hit by natural disasters. The 44-49 vote fell short of a majority, and far less than the 60 votes needed to overcome a Democratic filibuster.

PUERTO RICO GOVERNOR CAUTIONS WHITE HOUSE: 'IF THE BULLY GETS CLOSE, I'LL PUNCH THE PULLE IN THE MOUTH'

Democrats want to add nearly $ 700 million more to unlock further disaster aid for Puerto Rico and several states, including help to rebuild badly damaged water systems. Democrats are also trying to force the Trump administration to release billions of dollars in rebuilding funds that have already been approved.

Republicans accused Democrats of playing partisan politics.

"Funding for disasters should not be a partisan issue, but for months , The Congress has repeatedly played politics with much-needed help at the expense of local communities in Florida, Puerto Rico, and around the nation that are struggling to recover, "tweeted Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said the proposed funding would "would not have left anyone in the lurch from Iowa to Puerto Rico." He accused the Democrats of being hypocritical for decrying Washington political games while on the campaign track in Iowa, but then Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., accused Democrats of holding up relief funds and argues that another relief package passed in the House earlier this year would be vetoed by The president

"It is no time for my colleagues across the board to prioritize a political struggle with the president ahead of the urgent community needs across America," McConnell said before the vote on Monday.

"This is no time for my colleagues across the board to prioritize a political fight with the president ahead of the urgent community needs across America. "

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky

 FILE: An aeri al view of Offutt Air Force Base and surrounding areas in Nebraska affected by flood waters.

FILE: An aerial view of the Offutt Air Force Base and surrounding areas in Nebraska affected by flood waters.
       (Tech. Rachelle Blake / US Air Force via AP)

TRUMP MOVES TO CUT AID TO CENTRAL AMERICA, AMID CARAVANS AND FLOOD OF REFUGEES

President Trump, who has openly criticized Puerto Rico's government, has denied Democratic demands for more help to the US The territory of the city was slammed by back-to-back hurricanes in 2017.

Trump fired off a round of tweets Monday in which he criticized Puerto Rico's government for incompetence and corruption.

"The people of Puerto Rico are GREAT, but the politicians are incompetent or corrupt. Puerto Rico got much more money than Texas and Florida combined, but their government can not do anything right, the place is mess – nothing works. "

Trump said last week that his administration had sent $ 91 billion to Puerto Rico, while only $ 29 billion had gone to Texas and $ 12 billion to Florida for the hurricane.

"(Puerto Rico) has to spend the money wisely," Trump said. "They do not know how to spend the money and they're not spending it wisely."

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The path forward is not clear, but the leading option is for the Senate to pass much more narrowly drawn bill just to get the issue into a House-Senate conference committee. House Democrats insist the talks must produce a final measure with the help of Puerto Rico.

Fox News' Chad Pergram and The Associated Press have contributed to this report.


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