An objection by a Texas Congressman stopped a federal disaster relief bill today.
“I objected primarily because had I not, Congress would have passed into law a bill that spends a significant amount of tax payer money without members of Congress even being present in our nation's capitol to vote on it. Speaker Pelosi knew full well that a disaster bill may be coming from the Senate and yet chose to recess the House and then brought this forward for consent. I stayed in D.C. to object because this kind of swampy practice is what Texans elected me to stand against,” U.S. Congressman Chip Roy (R-Texas) said in a statement.
The Senate May 23 approved a $19 billion disaster aid package with President Donald Trump’s endorsement. Roy objected to a motion for the House to approve the package unanimously without House members present or voting. Roy’s move was enough to halt the bill.
More of Congressman Roy's statement can be read here.
U.S. Congressman Sanford Bishop (GA-02) is chairman of the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, and his southwest Georgia district was heavily damaged by Hurricane Michael in October.
“I am disappointed that Americans continue to be denied the disaster aid they so desperately need,” said Bishop. “While communities from coast to coast and in the territories suffered after devastation by hurricanes, wildfires, floods, and other natural disasters, the Administration and upper chamber played politics with Americans’ livelihoods. Yesterday, after months of delay, the Senate passed an updated bill, which the House was expected to pass by unanimous consent, sending it immediately to the President’s desk to be signed into law,” Bishop said in a statement May 24.
“I hope the House will be able to pass the bill by unanimous consent next week, without further sabotage by an extreme wing in the Minority party,” Bishop said.
"It’s craven, shameful politics at its worst that a single House member would choose to further delay disaster relief over a border wall that isn’t going to happen. Congressman Roy must have forgotten the aid that Texans received after Hurricane Harvey, while Floridians and his fellow Americans wait more than seven months for help following Hurricane Michael and other recent disasters across the country,” said Nikki Fried, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture. The Florida Panhandle was also devastated by Hurricane Michael.
Updates to this article will be forthcoming.