U.S. House passes disaster relief appropriations bill

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Signs of movement coming from Washington D.C. Friday morning following the passage of a disaster relief appropriations bill in the U.S. House of Representatives.

President Donald Trump tweeted in part, "Thank you to all. Get me a bill that I can quickly sign!"

One local congressman voted in favor of the bill.

"And I'm gratified to say that on that bill was a couple of amendments that I was able to sponsor," said Representative Neal Dunn.

While another one did not.

"Yeah, I'm not voting for a sham bill that includes these unrelated things," said Representative Matt Gaetz, "It's so shameful that the way that Congressional Democrats are gonna package today's vote is to link the needs of desperate people who suffered through a category five hurricane with unrelated issues like immigration policy or abortion policy."

That's the one controversial sticking point--bills like these often have extra issues wrapped into them, making it about more than just hurricane recovery.

But even with the extras, this one passed the House with a 257 to 150 vote.

Dunn says one of the best parts is this bill would add $1 billion in construction money to rebuild Tyndall Air Force Base.

Meanwhile, a separate disaster relief bill has been stalled in the Senate.

"Does not make sense and that's why people lose confidence in government because when they really need assistance it's not coming especially from the Senate," said Representative Al Lawson.

Friday morning's House appropriations bill does not mean the fight for funding is over. The Senate still needs to agree on a relief package, and leaders from both sides of the aisle hope it can overcome gridlock.

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