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Damaged buildings and a flooded street are seen after Hurricane Michael pummeled Panama City, Florida. Photo: Joe Raedle / Getty Images

After reaching a last-minute agreement with President Trump on Thursday, the Senate passed a $19.1 billion aid package for areas affected by natural disasters over the last two years. The package does not include funding for the border, as Trump had previously demanded.

Why it matters: The deal comes after months of tense negotiations, specifically over additional funding for Puerto Rico and stalled relief for mainland regions struggling after being hit by hurricanes, wildfires and historic flooding. The House has already adjourned for a week-long recess, but the legislation could be approved on a voice vote.

Details: The bill provides about $900 million for Puerto Rico — $605 million in nutritional assistance and $304 million in Community Development Block Grants. This was previously a major sticking point for the president, who believes the island should not receive any more government aid.

  • The bill also includes a provision freeing up $8.9 billion in previously withheld aid to Puerto Rico in 90 days, according to a release from Sen. Patrick Leahy's (D-Vt.) office.
  • The additional funds will go to repairing damaged infrastructure, reducing the risk of future floods and hurricanes, rebuilding military bases and supporting farmers and the U.S. Forest Service, among other things.

Go deeper

Biden explains justification for Syria strike in letter to Congress

Photo: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden told congressional leadership in a letter Saturday that this week's airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to Iranian-backed militia groups was consistent with the U.S. right to self-defense.

Why it matters: Some Democrats, including Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), have criticized the Biden administration for the strike and demanded a briefing.

11 hours ago - Health

FDA authorizes Johnson & Johnson's one-shot COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

Photo: Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday issued an emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson's one-shot coronavirus vaccine.

Why it matters: The authorization of a third coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. will help speed up the vaccine rollout across the country, especially since the J&J shot only requires one dose as opposed to Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech's two-shot vaccines.

Updated 11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios