Lone House Republican Blocks Passage of Bipartisan Disaster Relief Bill
In a stunning move Friday, a solitary House Republican from the Freedom Caucus blocked the passage of a $19.1 billion disaster aid package providing aid to Americans hit by wildfires, floods, and hurricanes, including $1.4 billion for Puerto Rico.
The funding passed the Senate on Thursday after months of delays stemming from demands by President Donald Trump to include $4.5 billion in border wall funding and balking at additional funding to Puerto Rico.
After long negotiations that garnered approval from Trump and Senate Republicans, the political fight seemed all but over. The bill was expected to pass the House yesterday by unanimous consent and head to the president’s desk for his signature before both chambers left for the long Memorial Day holiday weekend and two week congressional recess.
The process of unanimous consent allows any proposal to pass by voice vote as long as no member objects and is used frequently for non-controversial legislation.
But Representative Chip Moore, R-Texas, did object, calling the process “swampy,” and demanded a recorded vote.
Commenting to Roll Call, he said, “The people, particularly in Texas, but people generally, are tired of the swamp, and this is a very swampy thing to do — have a vote on a Friday heading into Memorial Day weekend and after we recess, when we could have done our job yesterday when we had 435 members of Congress who should be here and should vote.”
The delay means that people in California, Puerto Rico, and even Texas will likely have to wait two weeks before the House can take a recorded vote on the disaster aid package, further delaying much needed relief.
It is ultimately expected to pass and head directly to the president’s desk for signature, despite the additional delay.
In The News
WASHINGTON — House Ways and Means Chairman Richard E. Neal's attitude toward legislating under a Democratic-led White House might aptly be described as "never let a crisis go to waste." The Massachusetts Democrat wants to take a page from his party's 2009 playbook, when the Obama administration took office amid the wreckage of... Read More
WASHINGTON — When the 117th Congress convenes in January, COVID-19 precautions will prevent the 435 House members from gathering in the chamber together, so opening day festivities of swearing in members and electing the speaker will look a little different. House leaders have begun discussing how to carry out... Read More
WASHINGTON — Top appropriators reached bipartisan agreement Tuesday on a framework for an omnibus spending package that would avoid a partial government shutdown next month. The compromise forged between the leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations committees sets spending allocations for the dozen bills that fund federal agencies... Read More
Throughout the 2020 election cycle a persistent narrative was just how divided the United States has become. But an as-yet uncalled House race in Iowa is taking the concept of a nation equally divided between Republicans and Democrats to a whole new level. Since Monday, the... Read More
WASHINGTON – Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bipartisan measure increasing funding to the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative to help combat corruption and illicit drug trafficking between the United States and Caribbean nations. Introduced by Reps. Adriano Espaillat, D-N.Y., and Francis Rooney, R-Fla.,... Read More
WASHINGTON - Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said Monday she will step down as the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee when the 117th Congress convenes in January, apparently bowing to critics who believe she wasn't aggressive enough in her handling of Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court... Read More