Efforts to send a $19.1 disaster aid package to President Donald Trump’s desk have stalled twice in the last week amid objections from Tea Party conservatives.
Republicans Chip Roy of Texas and Thomas Massie of Kentucky have both objected to unanimous consent requests required for a voice vote on the measure in the House. The Senate approved the bill 85-8 last week after an agreement between Democrats and the White House allowed the legislation, which gives assistance to those hit by storms and wildfires in the last year, to move forward.
But that didn’t happen until House members were dismissed for the week, leading Roy to object to the voice vote on Friday and Massie to do the same during a pro forma session on Tuesday.
“If the speaker of this house felt that this was must pass legislation, the speaker of this house should have called a vote on this bill before sending every member of Congress on recess for 10 days,” Massie said in his objection.
Roy and Massie have received bipartisan rebuke for their objections. House Ag Committee member and Georgia Republican Austin Scott said “more clowns showed up today to once again delay disaster relief” after Massie’s Tuesday objection. Georgia Democrat Sanford Bishop, who chairs the House Ag Appropriations subcommittee, said he and Scott “remain furious that Americans continue to be denied the disaster aid they so desperately need.”
The House returns for another pro forma session on Thursday and is back from recess next week.
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