Aid for Puerto Rico following devastating earthquakes could be in jeopardy

WASHINGTON (Nexstar) – The fate of an emergency aid package for Puerto Rico is in the hands of the Senate, and the future of the funding is uncertain.

Just weeks after a devastating 6.4 magnitude quake hit the island of Puerto Rico, the Democratic House passed an emergency aid package for the U.S. territory.

But now, as the aftershocks continue, the Republican-controlled Senate says not so fast.

“I doubt we’re going to take up the House version of it,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said.

Sen. Rubio says he wants to do something but wants it to be something President Donald Trump will sign. The president’s advisers have already said they’ll recommend a veto of the House bill.

“The president has made it very clear he’s very concerned about these cases of corruption that keep emerging from Puerto Rico,” Rubio said. “But it is very important that we don’t punish people for the wrongdoing of their elected officials.”

The House bill includes nearly $5 billion for the island that was still recovering from Hurricane Maria that hit two years ago.

Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) is pushing to pass the House version of the bill.

“Puerto Rico has taken hit after hit lately and they need all the help they can get,” Sen. Jones said.

Democratic House members are in Puerto Rico this week to talk about ongoing recovery efforts. Former President Bill Clinton also spent Presidents’ Day touring parts of the island impacted by the recent earthquakes.