Today on the Hill: Disaster Relief Bill Clears the Senate

Late yesterday, Senators broke a monthslong impasse on disaster relief aid by passing (85-8) a $19.1 billion measure prior to leaving Washington. Congressional negotiators clinched a deal on a final package that would provide: (1) $3 billion for farm disaster assistance; (2) $2.4 billion for Community Block Development Grants; and (3) $3.25 billion for Army Corps of Engineers flood control and storm damage mitigation projects. Meanwhile, the bill does not include a deal on President Donald Trump’s border security request and also omits other rumored policy riders such as Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund reform and Violence Against Women Act reauthorization.

Regarding next steps for the disaster relief bill, the House will hold a “pro forma” session this morning where Democrats can try to pass it by unanimous consent. However, it remains to be seen whether GOP lawmakers will allow it to pass on a voice vote given some disagreements among conservatives over the lack of border funding. If there’s an objection to the unanimous consent request, the House will hold a roll call vote on the bill when lawmakers return from the Memorial Day district work period on Monday, June 3.