This week: House set to pass disaster aid after setbacks
© Greg Nash

The House is poised to pass a $19.1 billion disaster relief package after three Republican congressmen blocked the legislation over the Memorial Day recess.

The House has scheduled a Monday vote on the legislation, which is meant to provide recovery funding for a spate of recent storms, wildfires and hurricanes.

The Senate passed the bill shortly before the Memorial Day recess, meaning once it clears the House it will go to President TrumpDonald John TrumpObama calls on Senate not to fill Ginsburg's vacancy until after election Planned Parenthood: 'The fate of our rights' depends on Ginsburg replacement Progressive group to spend M in ad campaign on Supreme Court vacancy MORE’s desk, where he’s expected to sign it.

Lawmakers had hoped to put the long-stalled legislation behind them last month, but instead Monday’s vote comes after it was blocked three times over the recess by Republican Reps. Chip RoyCharles (Chip) Eugene RoyPelosi must go — the House is in dire need of new leadership GOP lawmakers want answers from Disney on Mulan, China Freedom Caucus member Chip Roy touts bipartisanship in first campaign ad MORE (Texas), Thomas MassieThomas Harold MassieGOP lawmaker praises Kyle Rittenhouse's 'restraint' for not emptying magazine during shooting Rep. Dan Meuser tests positive for COVID-19 Liz Cheney wins Wyoming GOP primary in reelection bid MORE (Ky.) and John RoseJohn Williams RoseFrom state agriculture departments to Congress: Our farmers need the USMCA Trump signs long-awaited .1B disaster aid bill 58 GOP lawmakers vote against disaster aid bill MORE (Tenn.).

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Both chambers are facing an abbreviated work week ahead of the 75th D-Day anniversary.

The disaster money was stuck in limbo for weeks over a fight over additional aid for Puerto Rico, after Trump criticized the island territory during a closed-door Senate GOP lunch. The final deal includes $600 million in food stamp aid for Puerto Rico and $300 million in Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grants.

The inclusion of the HUD grants marks a win for Democrats after the original GOP proposal only included the food stamp money.

The Senate’s vote came after Trump agreed to drop immigration provisions from the bill, which had emerged as an eleventh-hour sticking point that threatened passage of the disaster money.

The White House's $4.5 billion border money request included $3.3 billion for humanitarian assistance. About $1.1 billion would go have gone toward operations such as expanding the number of detention beds and providing more investigative resources.  

A senior Democratic aide said that Democrats secured language in the disaster aid agreement to prohibit the new funding in the package from being transferred to things that were not specifically appropriated for, including the president’s wall.

But the lack of border money sparked backlash from House conservatives, including Roy, who cited it as one of his reasons for holding up the bill.

“It is a bill that includes nothing to address the clear national emergency and humanitarian crisis we face at our southern border,” Roy said from the House floor as he blocked the bill.

Immigration

Legislation aimed at providing permanent status with a path to citizenship to upwards of two million immigrants who came to the country illegally as minors, commonly referred to as Dreamers, is expected to come to the floor for a vote this week.

The American Dream and Promise Act of 2019 — spearheaded by Rep. Lucille Roybal-AllardLucille Roybal-AllardHispanic Caucus asks for Department of Labor meeting on COVID in meatpacking plants Democrats may bring DHS bill to House floor Texas Democrat proposes legislation requiring masks in federal facilities MORE (D-Calif.) — is slated to be taken up in the House Rules Committee on Monday evening.

Providing protections for Dreamers is a top priority for Democrats, who have heavily criticized the Trump administration’s moves to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

“As a co-author of the original Dream Act, and as representative of the congressional district with America’s largest Dreamer population, I know that our Dreamers love America and call it their home. I have seen the talents and strong work ethic they bring to our economy. I have seen them strengthen our communities and our culture,” Roybal-Allard said in a statement after it passed out of committee.

While the bill is expected to pass the Democratic-controlled lower chamber, it faces an uphill battle in the Republican-controlled Senate, which rejected several immigration proposals last year.

No GOP lawmakers have opted to sign onto the bill as a co-sponsor.

Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSecond GOP senator to quarantine after exposure to coronavirus GOP senator to quarantine after coronavirus exposure The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by National Industries for the Blind - Trump seeks to flip 'Rage' narrative; Dems block COVID-19 bill MORE budget

The Senate will start off the week with a vote on Monday evening on taking up Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.) “Pennies Plan.”

Paul’s proposal would balance the budget in roughly five years and cut spending over a decade by more than $11 trillion compared to current spending levels.

The proposal also includes a provision allowing for the expansion of Health Savings Accounts, a policy priority for Paul, and a sense of Congress “that the United States will not be a socialist nation.”

The Senate voted down a similar proposal last year, with 21 senators supporting the measure and 76 voting against it.

The vote on Paul’s budget comes as lawmakers are still searching for a budget deal for the 2020 fiscal year that would prevent across-the-board budget cuts, known as sequestration, from kicking in.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellObama calls on Senate not to fill Ginsburg's vacancy until after election Planned Parenthood: 'The fate of our rights' depends on Ginsburg replacement Progressive group to spend M in ad campaign on Supreme Court vacancy MORE (R-Ky.), Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerPelosi orders Capitol flags at half-staff to honor Ginsburg Ginsburg in statement before her death said she wished not to be replaced until next president is sworn in Democrats call for NRA Foundation to be prohibited from receiving donations from federal employees MORE (D-N.Y.), Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi: Ginsburg successor must uphold commitment to 'equality, opportunity and justice for all' Bipartisan praise pours in after Ginsburg's death Pelosi orders Capitol flags at half-staff to honor Ginsburg MORE (D-Calif.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyTrump asked Chamber of Commerce to reconsider Democratic endorsements: report The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association - White House moves closer to Pelosi on virus relief bill Trump's sharp words put CDC director on hot seat MORE (R-Calif.) met with acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyMick Mulvaney to start hedge fund Fauci says positive White House task force reports don't always match what he hears on the ground Bottom line MORE and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinLawmakers fear voter backlash over failure to reach COVID-19 relief deal United Airlines, unions call for six-month extension of government aid House Democrats plan to unveil bill next week to avert shutdown MORE ahead of the Memorial Day recess, but failed to reach an agreement.

Schumer acknowledged after the meeting that they were far apart on the top-line figure for nondefense spending.

Nominations

McConnell has teed up several nominations for the Senate to tackle during the abbreviated work week.

The chamber is expected to vote on Monday evening to take up Andrew Saul’s nomination to be a commissioner of the Social Security Administration.

After the Senate dispenses with Saul’s nomination, they’ll turn to David Schenker’s nomination to be assistant secretary of State, Heath Tarbert to be chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Heath Tarbert to be a commissioner of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Susan Combs to be an assistant secretary of the Interior.

They’ll also take up three judicial nominations: Ryan Holte to be a judge of the Court of Federal Claims, Rossie Alston to be a District Judge for the Eastern District of Virginia and Richard Hertling to be a judge of the Court of Federal Claims.

Under a rules change Senate Republicans implemented in April the nominations can be considered with only two hours of debate once they’ve defeated a filibuster. 

Rafael Bernal contributed