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 TrumpTed Cruz knocks New York Times for 'stunning' correction on Kavanaugh report US service member killed in Afghanistan Pro-Trump website edited British reality star's picture to show him wearing Trump hat 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 RoyTexas Republicans sound alarm about rapidly evolving state GOP lawmakers call for provisions barring DOD funds for border wall to be dropped Lawmakers mark anniversary of Martin Luther King 'I have a dream' speech MORE (Texas), Thomas MassieThomas Harold MassieAirports already have plenty of infrastructure funding Overnight Defense: House votes to block Trump arms sales to Saudis, setting up likely veto | US officially kicks Turkey out of F-35 program | Pentagon sending 2,100 more troops to border House votes to block Trump's Saudi arms sale MORE (Ky.) and John RoseJohn Williams RoseTrump signs long-awaited .1B disaster aid bill 58 GOP lawmakers vote against disaster aid bill House approves much-delayed .1B disaster aid bill MORE (Tenn.).

ADVERTISEMENT

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-AllardTrump rips Puerto Rico as 'corrupt' as storm approaches Schumer blasts Trump officials: Diverting FEMA money to border 'backwards and cruel' Trump administration pulling millions from FEMA, other agencies to send to border 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 PaulRand Paul: Almost every mass shooter 'is sending off signals' Liz Cheney says world is more stable, 'safer' under Trump Sunday shows preview: Democratic candidates make the rounds after debate 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 McConnellThe Hill's 12:30 Report: NY Times story sparks new firestorm over Kavanaugh Senator asked FBI to follow up on new information about Kavanaugh last year Congress must reinstate assault weapons ban MORE (R-Ky.), Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer, Pelosi push Trump to back universal background check bill Sinema says she would back Kennedy in race against Markey Democrats threaten to withhold defense votes over wall MORE (D-N.Y.), Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump takes 2020 roadshow to New Mexico This week: House jump-starts effort to prevent shutdown Schumer, Pelosi push Trump to back universal background check bill MORE (D-Calif.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyTrump touts Washington Post story on GOP support Pence extends olive branch to Cummings after Trump's Baltimore attacks Marijuana industry donations to lawmakers surge in 2019: analysis MORE (R-Calif.) met with acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyNOAA chief praises agency scientists after statement backing up Trump tweet The Hill's Morning Report — Biden steadies in third debate as top tier remains the same Democrats ramp up calls to investigate NOAA MORE and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinIran: Rouhani, Trump won't meet at United Nations Trump denies reports he's willing to meet with Iran with 'no conditions' Turkey confirms delivery of second Russian anti-missile system 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