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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 TrumpVenezuela judge orders prison time for 6 American oil executives Trump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College The Memo: Biden faces tough road on pledge to heal nation MORE.

Rep. Thomas MassieThomas Harold MassieCheney seeks to cool tensions with House conservatives House in near-unanimous vote affirms peaceful transfer of power Ron Paul hospitalized in Texas 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 RoyThe Hill's Morning Report - Too close to call Chip Roy fends off challenge from Wendy Davis to win reelection in Texas Democrats seek wave to bolster House majority 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 WextonVirginia voter registration website back up after outage on last day to register House advances bill aimed at imports tied to Uighur forced labor This week: Supreme Court fight over Ginsburg's seat upends Congress's agenda MORE (D-Va.) presided.

But Massie objected, saying Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiGovernors take heat for violating their own coronavirus restrictions Spending deal clears obstacle in shutdown fight Ocasio-Cortez, Cruz trade jabs over COVID-19 relief: People 'going hungry as you tweet from' vacation 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 HoyerDemocrats face increasing pressure to back smaller COVID-19 stimulus Hoyer on Trump election challenges: 'I think this borders on treason' Capitol's COVID-19 spike could be bad Thanksgiving preview 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 HiceHillicon Valley: Department of Justice sues Google | House Republicans push for tech bias hearing | Biden drawing more Twitter engagement for first time House Republicans push VA for details on recent data breach IRS closes in on final phase of challenging tax season MORE (R-Ga.) tweeted that "our farmers need aid today," while Rep. Austin ScottJames (Austin) Austin ScottMaybe they just don't like cowboys: The president is successful, some just don't like his style Lobbying world Lawmakers warn Pentagon against reduction of US forces in Africa 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.