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 leader taking proxy voting fight to Supreme Court Reps. Greene, Roy fined for not wearing masks on House floor Photos of the Week: Afghanistan evacuees, Paralympics and the French fire 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 CruzPoll: Trump dominates 2024 Republican primary field Republican politicians: Let OSHA do its job O'Rourke prepping run for governor in Texas: report 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 TrumpTrump takes shot at new GOP candidate in Ohio over Cleveland nickname GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default 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 MassieReps. Greene, Roy fined for not wearing masks on House floor Sixth House GOP lawmaker issued K metal detector fine Kentucky GOP lawmaker deletes tweet comparing vaccine mandates to Holocaust MORE (R-Ky.) and John RoseJohn Williams RoseSuspected Capitol rioter at border during Republican lawmakers' visit: report 'I want to cry': House Republicans take emotional trip to the border Republicans eye Nashville crack-up to gain House seat 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 GrangerConservative women's group endorses Sarah Huckabee Sanders for Arkansas governor Bottom line House passes sprawling spending bill ahead of fall shutdown fight MORE (R-Texas) referred to the maneuver as a “political stunt,” and Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyLobbying world Progressives fight for leverage amid ever-slimming majority Biden needs to tear down bureaucratic walls and refocus Middle East programs MORE (D-N.Y.) accused the members of “grandstanding.”