House approves $19.1 billion in disaster aid; Trump expected to sign bill

House approves $19.1 billion in disaster aid; Trump expected to sign bill
Aerial footage of flooding in Bladen County after Hurricane Florence.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The House has given final approval to a long-delayed $19.1 billion disaster aid bill. That clears the way for the measure to be sent to President Donald Trump for his expected signature.

The chamber approved the legislation 354-58. It’s aimed at helping communities around the country bounce back from hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and fires.

The bill languished for months over disputes including additional aid for Puerto Rico, which Trump opposed. He also wanted $4 billion to deal with migrants at the Southwest border, which will await a future bill.

North Carolina Congressman David Rouzer said in a statement that members of the state’s farming community will benefit from the bill as they continue to recover from Hurricane Florence.

“This is a good day for North Carolina,” Rouzer said. “I’m pleased Congress has finally approved a disaster relief package after months of negotiations — particularly for our farm families who will be receiving their very first bit of federal assistance to help them recover from the absolute wipeout of Hurricane Florence.

"The other resources being provided will help enable a stronger recovery for all of our communities so hard hit by Florence, including our military installations.”

Passage came as lawmakers returned from a 10-day recess. Three times during the break, conservative Republicans blocked passage under a special procedure Democrats employed that would have allowed approval if no one objected.

The Senate easily approved the measure in May.

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