Disaster relief bill finally headed to president


WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — After months of political back-and-forth, Congress on Monday approved aid for natural disaster victims across the country.

“I am so excited that we finally got a disaster bill in place,” Rep. Cindy Axne, D-Iowa, said.

The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a $19.1 billion disaster relief package for regions hit by hurricanes, wildfires and floods in the last two years.

It includes $3 billion for those affected by this spring’s flooding in the Midwest.

“People in Iowa are still kayaking out to their farms. Their houses are completely ruined,” Axne said.

The bill earmarks cash to rebuild destroyed roads and bridges, help farmers and ranchers hit by storms and fires and rebuild military bases. That includes $1.2 billion for Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida, Sen. Rick Scott said.

“We’ve got to take care of our military,” Scott, a Republican, said.

“Apply to everything you can get your hands on,” Axne advised victims.

But it could be two months before the money starts flowing.

“It is really a shame that it took this long” to approve the bill, Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., said, adding that she can’t understand why anyone would vote against it.

The bill now heads to President Donald Trump, who says he will sign it.

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