Second Republican blocks disaster aid bill's passage in House

A second House Republican blocked passage of a disaster aid bill on Tuesday, increasing the odds that lawmakers will have to wait until the chamber reconvenes from recess next week to send the measure to President TrumpDonald John TrumpGiuliani says he is unaware of reported federal investigation Louisiana's Democratic governor forced into runoff Lawmakers focus their ire on NBA, not China MORE.

Rep. Thomas MassieThomas Harold MassieO'Rourke gun confiscation talk alarms Democrats Scalise blasts Democratic legislation on gun reforms Airports already have plenty of infrastructure funding MORE (R-Ky.) objected to an attempt by Democrats to clear a $19.1 billion disaster aid package by unanimous consent during a pro forma session.

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Lawmakers first tried on Friday during another pro forma session to pass the legislation by unanimous consent, since most House members had left for the Memorial Day recess on Thursday.

But freshman Rep. Chip RoyCharles (Chip) Eugene RoyTrump congratulates China on anniversary as GOP lawmakers decry communist rule Texas Republicans sound alarm about rapidly evolving state GOP lawmakers call for provisions barring DOD funds for border wall to be dropped MORE (R-Texas) objected to its passage on Friday, citing the $19 billion price tag and lack of funds requested by the Trump administration to help agencies dealing with migrants at the southern border. 

During Tuesday's session, Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.) offered a request to pass the disaster aid package by unanimous consent, while Rep. Jennifer WextonJennifer Lynn WextonCarson defends transgender comments, hits media for 'mischaracterizations' Ben Carson's remarks during San Francisco visit spark backlash Democrats blast HUD for removing LGBT language from grant competition MORE (D-Va.) presided.

But Massie objected, saying Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiWhy calls for impeachment have become commonplace The Constitution doesn't require a vote to start the impeachment process Louisiana voters head to the polls in governor's race as Trump urges GOP support MORE (D-Calif.) "should have called a vote on this bill before sending every member of Congress on recess for 10 days."

House Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerHillicon Valley: Google, Reddit to testify on tech industry protections | Trump joins Amazon-owned Twitch | House to vote on bill to combat foreign interference Overnight Health Care — Presented by Coalition Against Surprise Medical Billing — Judge blocks Trump 'public charge' rule | Appeals court skeptical of Trump arguments for Medicaid work requirements | CDC offers guidance for treating vaping-related cases House to vote this month on legislation to combat foreign interference in elections MORE (D-Md.), who was also on the House floor, urged Republicans — without success — not to object.

"Millions of people are at risk," Hoyer said. 
The House is scheduled to reconvene on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. for another pro forma session, where Democrats plan to again try to pass the disaster aid bill by unanimous consent. But given the continued resistance from conservatives, it's more likely to be sent to Trump's desk by a roll call vote next week.
 
The House isn't scheduled to come back into session for roll call votes until next Monday, June 3.
 
Roy doubled down on Tuesday after facing blowback from fellow Republicans, including those who represent disaster-ravaged states, for blocking the legislation's passage. 

"Last Friday, the American people were at work on Friday. The House was on recess and @SpeakerPelosi tried to jam through a bill WITHOUT A VOTE that is $19 billion, not paid for, and without any effort to address the emergency border supplemental @RussVought45 requested," Roy tweeted.

Like Roy, Massie also quickly drew ire from his own party for blocking the bill's passage.

"This is yet another example of politicians putting their own self-interest ahead of the national interest. It’s pathetic that some members have chosen this moment to grandstand & get into the national headlines," tweeted Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.).
 
President Trump had objected to additional funding for Puerto Rico, but lawmakers reached a deal to include $600 million in nutrition assistance for the island territory in the disaster aid package.
 
The Senate then quickly passed the legislation 85-8 on Thursday before adjourning for the recess.

The package also includes $5 million for a study of the disaster nutrition assistance provided to Puerto Rico in 2017.

Beyond assistance for Puerto Rico, it further includes funding to address the effects of Hurricanes Florence and Michael, as well as recent wildfires. It also extends the National Flood Insurance Program through September. 

Fellow Republicans publicly panned Roy's move last week, including lawmakers representing areas that stood to receive disaster aid funding. Rep. Jody HiceJody Brownlow HiceGOP lawmakers, states back gunmaker in Sandy Hook appeal GOP lawmakers call for provisions barring DOD funds for border wall to be dropped House conservatives call for ethics probe into Joaquin Castro tweet MORE (R-Ga.) tweeted that "our farmers need aid today," while Rep. Austin ScottJames (Austin) Austin Scott5 Republicans who could replace Isakson in Georgia's Senate race Georgia GOP abuzz about Senate vacancy House approves much-delayed .1B disaster aid bill MORE (R-Ga.) lamented that "political games over disaster assistance continue."

Scott went after Massie on Tuesday as well, tweeting that "unfortunately, more clowns showed up today to once again delay disaster relief for the states and farmers devastated by the storms of 2018. This bill will pass the House next week, and President Trump will sign it. #GA08"

This report was updated at 3:23 p.m.