Senate leaders say they are close to a budget deal to avert a government shutdown. On Tuesday night the House of Representatives voted on a spending pact. The Senate is still deliberating on a number of issues including disaster relief and Medicaid funding for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
"The Senate must vote for disaster relief and rebuilding aid for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands," noted Jubilee USA Director Eric LeCompte who met with leaders in Congress on aid for the US Territories. "While I'm grateful that Republican and Democratic leadership want to deliver disaster relief, it is unbelievable that it has taken so long for the Senate to act given the humanitarian crisis affecting millions of American citizens."
The House voted for an $81 billion disaster relief package in December for Puerto Rico, Texas, Florida, California and the US Virgin Islands.
"It's important that the House of Representatives supported initial disaster relief," said LeCompte. "But what the House has authorized so far falls short of what disaster victims need. We still have a lot of work to do to ensure that sufficient aid gets to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands to rebuild to withstand the next storm."