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 TrumpAmash responds to 'Send her back' chants at Trump rally: 'This is how history's worst episodes begin' McConnell: Trump 'on to something' with attacks on Dem congresswomen Trump blasts 'corrupt' Puerto Rico's leaders amid political crisis 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 RoyDemocrat grills DHS chief over viral image of drowned migrant and child Population shifts set up huge House battleground Rising number of GOP lawmakers criticize Trump remarks about minority Dems MORE (Texas), Thomas MassieThomas Harold MassieOvernight 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 The 27 Republicans who voted with Democrats to block Trump from taking military action against Iran 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.).

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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-AllardHere are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment Hispanic Democrats: ICE raids designed to distract from Trump ties to Epstein Top Democrats call for administration to rescind child migrant information sharing policy 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 PaulFirst responder calls senators blocking 9/11 victim funding 'a--holes' The Hill's Morning Report - Trump seizes House impeachment vote to rally GOP Jon Stewart rips into Rand Paul after he blocks 9/11 victim compensation fund: 'An abomination' 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 McConnellMcConnell: Trump 'on to something' with attacks on Dem congresswomen Dems open to killing filibuster in next Congress Senate passes bill making hacking voting systems a federal crime MORE (R-Ky.), Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTop Democrats demand security assessment of Trump properties Lawmakers pay tribute to late Justice Stevens Trump administration denies temporary immigrant status to Venezuelans in US MORE (D-N.Y.), Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSally Yates: Moral fiber of US being 'shredded by unapologetic racism' Al Green calls for additional security for House members after Trump rally #IStandWithPresTrump trends in response to #IStandWithIlhan MORE (D-Calif.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyTrump slams House impeachment vote as 'most ridiculous project' House votes to kill impeachment effort against Trump White House, Congress inch toward debt, budget deal MORE (R-Calif.) met with acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyTrump's new labor chief alarms Democrats, unions The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by JUUL Labs - Trump attack on progressive Dems draws sharp rebuke Acosta out as Trump Labor secretary MORE and Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinMnuchin says White House, Pelosi have deal on top-line budget numbers The Hill's Morning Report - Trump seizes House impeachment vote to rally GOP Administration pushes back on quick budget deal: 'We have a way to go' 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