Senate GOP leadership expressed optimism about striking a deal to provide funding for states impacted by recent natural disasters, signaling a possible end to the monthslong impasse over the disaster relief funds. Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) noted yesterday that the prospects for a deal “have improved dramatically,” suggesting that the disagreements over aid to Puerto Rico have been mostly resolved. However, it ultimately remains to be seen whether President Donald Trump will sign off on a final measure that is not in line with his position on aid for the island. Further complicating the issue is the White House’s insistence that a $4.5 billion border security-related provision be tacked onto the disaster relief package. Regardless of any negotiation hiccups, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) insisted yesterday that the upper chamber will hold a vote on disaster relief legislation next week.
On the floor today, House lawmakers will consider a bill (H.R. 312) out of the Natural Resources Committee that would reaffirm the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe Reservation. In the upper chamber, Senators will resume consideration of Kenneth Kiyul Lee’s nomination to be a Circuit Judge for the Ninth Circuit Court.