All but six Senate Republicans banded together on Monday to block $6.9 billion to fund the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) from advancing on the grounds that the bill cost too much.
So far the only Republican who defended his vote, at length, from the Senate floor was Sen. Jeff SessionsJeff SessionsSessions: Ryan 'needs to' endorse Trump soon GOP senator: 'I would consider’ being Trump’s VP Senate panel delays email privacy vote amid concerns MORE (R-Ala.), who said that such an expensive bill demanded more careful scrutiny.
“Has anybody given any serious thought to that?" asked Sessions on Monday. “Seven billion dollars? The state of Alabama’s general budget is $2 billion. Seven billion is a lot of money. We have not looked at it, we have not thought about it.”
On Tuesday Democrats lectured their Republican colleagues from the Senate floor, arguing that in such a time of emergency lawmakers should not worry about how to pay for assistance needed as soon as possible.
"When your neighbor’s house is on fire, you don’t haggle over the price of the garden hose," said Sen. Barbara BoxerBarbara BoxerLatinos key in Democratic battle for California delegates Dem senators back Interior coal leasing review Trump and Sanders whip up debate buzz MORE (D-Calif.). “Get the hose and put that fire out.”
Sen. Mary LandrieuMary Landrieu oil is changing the world and Washington Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm Republican announces bid for Vitter’s seat MORE (D-La.) also said there would be time to figure out how to pay for the bill in the future.
“It’s not time, to my friends on the other side of the aisle, to sit on our hands or get out your green eyeshade and pencil and figure out how to take care of this this week. We have all year to do that."