May 24, 2019

$19.1 billion natural disaster aid package blocked by 1 vote

Rep. Chip Roy. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Rep. Chip Roy (R -Texas) voted on Friday to block a $19.1 billion aid package for areas affected by natural disasters over the last 2 years, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: This last-minute agreement, forged on Thursday night after months of tense negotiations, aims to provide about $900 million for Puerto Rico and reduce the risk of future floods and hurricanes in the U.S. Historic flooding and extreme weather have ransacked the Central U.S. over the past several months.

Where it stands: The House will not be back in session until June 3, and Roy has not confirmed whether he will object to the aid package again on Tuesday at the next "pro forma" session — where only a few lawmakers will be present.

  • His opposition further delays legislation to send aid to victims of Western wildfires, Midwestern flooding and hurricanes that hit the Southeast and Puerto Rico, along with other disaster-affected areas.
  • The move also puts Roy at variance with President Trump, who had announced his support of the deal on Thursday.

Go deeper: Senate passes last-minute $19.1 billion disaster relief package

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Coronavirus spreads to more countries, and U.S. ups its case count

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. Meanwhile, Italy reported its first virus-related death on Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,359 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

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Wells Fargo agrees to pay $3 billion to settle consumer abuse charges

Clients use an ATM at a Wells Fargo Bank in Los Angeles, Calif. Photo: Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Wells Fargo agreed to a pay a combined $3 billion to the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday for opening millions of fake customer accounts between 2002 and 2016, the SEC said in a press release.

The big picture: The fine "is among the largest corporate penalties reached during the Trump administration," the Washington Post reports.