Trump Finally Signs Disaster Relief Bill--After Months of Holding It Hostage for Border Wall Funding

For Months Trump Lied About and Refused to Help Puerto Ricans Recovering from Hurricane Maria

Lauren Lantry, 

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, Donald Trump gave into pressure from the American people and signed a bill for desperately needed disaster recovery money after holding it up in an attempt to gain funding for his unpopular border wall. The bill will deliver much needed funds for Puerto Rico and other climate impacted areas across the United States. The bill will also extend of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) -- the single largest source of flood insurance that protects five million American households that are located in flood plains.

The bill was previously delayed by Congressional Republicans who refused to allow it to proceed under a unanimous consent agreement. After pressure from Trump, all 58 “no” votes came from House Republicans who were willing to hold disaster relief hostage for border wall funds. After signing, in a tweet, Trump claimed responsibility for aid for Puerto Rico and proclaimed that Puerto Rico should love him. In reality, Trump repeatedly fought efforts to provide aid to Puerto Rico, delayed delivery of approved funds, and lied about the amount of federal aid given to Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria, all while staff in his administration redirected emergency funds to corrupt contractors.   

In response, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune released the following statement:

"No one who survives a climate disaster should have to watch the hope of help become a divisive bargaining chip, but that is exactly what Trump has done for months. From Trump refusing to help the people of Puerto Rico to pressuring Republicans to go along with his political games to fund his xenophobic border wall, Trump has threatened the safety and well-being of communities already hit hard by disasters. It has taken far too long for this funding to be secured, and the reason for that lies on the shoulders of Trump and Congressional Republicans. Instead of claiming victory, Trump and Congressional Republicans should be ashamed of themselves for neglecting the very people they are elected to serve.”

About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 3.5 million members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit