Senate negotiations over an emergency supplemental disaster relief package broke down this week, ensuring Congress will not pass a bill until after the two week recess beginning on Friday. The Senate rejected two different disaster aid proposals last week and negotiators are divided over funding for recent hurricanes in Puerto Rico.
Democrats demand additional funding for the recovery effort in Puerto Rico, but Senate Republicans argue President Trump would veto such a deal. President Trump further complicated legislative negotiations with remarks that he would oppose additional funding to Puerto Rico because local officials are mismanaging federal relief funds.
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) met with the President on Thursday to break the impasse. No agreement was reached during the meeting but Chairman Shelby told reporters that key White House staff and Appropriations Committee staff would work through the Spring Recess to find a compromise on Puerto Rico and prepare a final bill that Congress can enact.