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President Trump signed $36.5B in emergency aid for disasters

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President Donald Trump has signed a $36.5 billion emergency aid measure to refill disaster accounts, provide a cash infusion to Puerto Rico and bail out the federal flood insurance program, according to the Associated Press.

The president signed the bill after the Senate sent him the measure earlier this week to help Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico after a devastating string of hurricanes. The funding will also bolster Western states dealing with massive wildfires.

To date, Congress has approved more than $50 billion in disaster aid but more money will be needed; as the states and Puerto Rico continue to assess the damage from an onslaught of damaging storms.

The measure provides $18.7 billion to replenish the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s accounts, and $16 billion to allow the flood insurance program to keep paying claims.

Led by the Florida and Texas delegations, Congress will be pressed for additional funding to help homeowners without flood insurance rebuild and to cover damage to water and navigation projects, crops, public buildings and infrastructure.

But White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said earlier this week the next request for disaster aid, expected to cost tens of billions of dollars, should be paired with cuts to other government programs to finance the money.

The current measure would permit FEMA to allocate up to $5 billion to assist Puerto Rico’s central government and various municipalities dealing with a cash crisis.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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