Congress Approves $36.5 Billion Disaster Aid for Puerto Rico, Wildfires and Hurricane Relief

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Members of the U.S. Army deliver boxes up a makeshift ladder to people that were cut off after a bridge collapsed when Hurricane Maria swept through Puerto Rico, Oct. 5, 2017, in the town of Utuado. (Credit: Joe Raedle / Getty Images)

Members of the U.S. Army deliver boxes up a makeshift ladder to people that were cut off after a bridge collapsed when Hurricane Maria swept through Puerto Rico, Oct. 5, 2017, in the town of Utuado. (Credit: Joe Raedle / Getty Images)

Congress gave final passage Tuesday to $36.5 billion in disaster aid for Puerto Rico and several states impacted by a particularly destructive hurricane season.

The package includes $576.5 million to address the devastating wildfires in California and the West.

It is the second – but not likely final – allotment of emergency funds after a succession of deadly hurricanes battered Texas, Florida and other Southern states. It is the first allotment for Puerto Rico.

Approval arrives amid criticism of President Trump’s uneven response to the island, which remains largely without electricity, and where food and potable water remain scarce more than a month after Hurricane Maria. Congress had approved $15 billion in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.