$19B disaster aid package stalls after GOP congressman objects

Grant Boone
May 25, 2019

Roy temporarily derailed a $19.1 billion disaster relief package hours earlier by objecting to a unanimous consent vote - the objection did not block the legislation, but rather required the House to vote on the measure through a roll call. Democrats let loose their ire on the Representative Chip Roy, the Texas Republican who on Friday blocked a vote on the bipartisan relief agreement.

With Congress now in recess until June 3, it appears unlikely a vote would happen before then.

House lawmakers left town Thursday morning, before Senate negotiators reached a compromise on the bill.

For months, lawmakers have been haggling behind the scenes over the disaster aid bill in response to hurricanes in the southeastern USA, severe flooding in the Midwest, devastating wildfires in California and other events. It surely would have passed if the House had put it up to a full vote. With members absent, House leaders had hoped to pass the measure by unanimous consent.

Democrats expect to have enough votes to pass the legislation when Congress returns on June 3 but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif, called the intervention a "last-minute sabotage" of the bipartisan bill.

Ted Cruz, objected to speeding the measure through a almost empty chamber, also complaining that it does not contain any of President Donald trump's $4.5 billion request for dealing with a migrant refugee crisis on the U.S. -Mexico border.

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Freshman Representative Chip Roy of Texas objected to the House's plan to pass the measure without a recorded vote, a day after nearly all members left Washington for their home districts.

President Trump has said he supports the bill, and said he's been assured he'll get the border money soon.

"We've had months to figure this out, and to do our job and secure our border", Roy continued.

The border money was just one of the hiccups in the disaster bill. Roy won the seat by fewer than 10,000 votes. "Every day Congressman Roy spends in Washington he turns more into a creature of the swamp, making it clear why this is a top tier Democratic pickup opportunity".

Disagreements on how much funding to give Puerto Rico - which is still recovering from Hurricane Maria - have already delayed the bill.

"Countless American families hit by devastating natural disasters across the country will now be denied the relief they urgently need", Pelosi said in a statement. He told his congressional colleagues that the USA needed to "have a responsive and fiscally responsive approach to help people who are hurting in the wake of natural disasters" but that he did not want "to let the swamp continue to mortgage the future of our children and grandchildren".

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