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Debate over Puerto Rico funding keeps disaster aid bill from approval

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nexstar) — Lawmakers are once again fighting over the disaster aid bill that has been stuck in Congress for months. This time, the battle is being waged over how much money goes to Puerto Rico. 

Pres. Trump says Puerto Rico has already gotten too much money, but Senate Democrats are threatening to oppose the $13.5 billion dollar bill unless it includes more money for the island.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says the bill would help states rebuild military bases and water systems that were damaged in recent hurricanes. He says it even provides help for farmers washed out by this spring’s river flooding.

But the bill has hit another roadblock.

New Jersey Democrat Bob Menendez says more money should be going to Puerto Rico.

Currently, there are 3.5 million Americans on the island still trying to recover basic services and rebuild after Hurricane Maria two years ago.

But Trump says the island has enough, saying:

“They don’t know how to spend the money and they’re not spending it wisely.”

McConnell says there’s no time to argue — farmers in the midwest and southeast need the money now if there’s going to be a harvest this year.

The Senate is expected to vote on the bill next week.