GOP lawmaker defends blocking disaster relief vote during recess

GOP lawmaker defends blocking disaster relief vote during recess
© Greg Nash

Rep. Chip RoyCharles (Chip) Eugene RoyGOP lawmaker blasts Omar and Tlaib: Netanyahu right to block 'enemies' of Israel The Hill's Campaign Report: 2020 Democrats step up attacks ahead of Detroit debate Conservatives call on Pelosi to cancel August recess MORE (R-Texas) on Monday defended blocking a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill from being passed during the House’s Memorial Day recess.

Roy, a member of the House Freedom Caucus who previously worked for Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGOP strategist predicts Biden will win nomination, cites fundraising strength 3 real problems Republicans need to address to win in 2020 The Hill's Morning Report - Trump on defense over economic jitters MORE (R-Texas), came under fire after being the first of three conservative lawmakers to delay passage of the bill, which will provide funding to recovery efforts in areas impacted by recent storms, wildfires and hurricanes.

The legislation does not include $4.5 billion in border funding requested by President TrumpDonald John Trump Former US ambassador: 'Denmark is not a big fan of Donald Trump and his politics' Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Detroit county sheriff endorses Booker for president MORE but provides $900 million in aid to Puerto Rico, a provision the White House did not support. 

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But Trump had agreed to sign the bill that passed the Senate in an 85-8 vote late last month. 

Roy on May 24 blocked the $19.1 billion disaster relief bill by objecting to a unanimous consent vote, arguing that the House should not have recessed before allowing lawmakers to debate the measure and go on the record regarding the legislation given the size of the spending. 

"My Democratic colleagues tried three separate times to pass this $19 billion disaster supplemental, which is unpaid for and most members haven't read, without members' vote for a simple consent, which was solely two members in this chamber," he said during debate on the floor.

"Members should cast an up-or-down vote on major legislation that spends significant amounts of taxpayer money. The American people send their representatives to Washington to represent them. They deserve to see how we vote," he added.

Reps. 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 (R-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 (R-Tenn.) followed Roy in taking action to block the bill during the House recess.

Roy on Monday also cited concerns with the bill’s impact on the national debt, arguing Congress needs to take strides to cut spending.

“While I'm happy the Speaker chose to go back to regular procedure, I am still troubled we're poised to spend $19 billion that is not paid for when we are racking up $100 million an hour in national debt,” he said.

The three lawmakers faced bipartisan backlash after blocking the bill. House Appropriations Committee ranking member Kay GrangerNorvell (Kay) Kay GrangerLobbying world House approves bill increasing federal worker pay House approves 3 billion spending package MORE (R-Texas) referred to the maneuver as a “political stunt,” and Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyPelosi warns Mnuchin to stop 'illegal' .3B cut to foreign aid Appropriators warn White House against clawing back foreign aid Pelosi: Israel's Omar-Tlaib decision 'a sign of weakness' MORE (D-N.Y.) accused the members of “grandstanding.”