Senate passes massive disaster aid package

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The Senate passed a long-awaited bipartisan disaster aid package on Thursday after reaching a last-minute deal with President Donald Trump.

In an 85-8 vote, the Senate approved a multi-billion dollar disaster aid bill, which will assist states devastated by wildfires, hurricanes and flooding, comes after months of roadblocks.

The stalled aid package had faced several setbacks — including over Trump’s reluctance to provide more money to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico. More recently, talks stalled over a White House request for more border funding. The bill does not include the additional border funds the president sought.

Among the Senators who voted against the bill — all Republicans — were Sens. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, Mike Crapo of Idaho, James Risch of Idaho, Mike Braun of Indiana, Mike Lee of Utah, Mitt Romney of Utah, Martha McSally of Arizona and Rand Paul of Kentucky.

“We should all know now this president negotiates in a different manner,” said Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.), the lead sponsor of the disaster aid bill. Perdue, along with Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) spoke with Trump earlier in the day about whether he would support a disaster aid bill that didn’t include border funds.

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