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 RoyDemocrats launch bilingual ad campaign off drug pricing bill Congressional Hispanic Caucus campaign arm endorses two Texas Democrats Congressional investigation finds Coast Guard leadership fell short on handling bullying 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 CruzSunday Talk Shows: Lawmakers look ahead to House vote on articles of impeachment, Senate trial The Hill's Campaign Report: 2020 Democrats trading jabs ahead of Los Angeles debate Senate Republicans air complaints to Trump administration on trade deal 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 TrumpRepublicans aim to avoid war with White House over impeachment strategy New York Times editorial board calls for Trump's impeachment Trump rips Michigan Rep. Dingell after Fox News appearance: 'Really pathetic!' MORE but provides $900 million in aid to Puerto Rico, a provision the White House did not support. 


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 MassieThe Hill's Morning Report — Pelosi makes it official: Trump will be impeached Hillicon Valley: House passes anti-robocall bill | Senators inch forward on privacy legislation | Trump escalates fight over tech tax | Illinois families sue TikTok | Senators get classified briefing on ransomware House passes anti-robocall bill MORE (R-Ky.) and John RoseJohn Williams RoseFrom state agriculture departments to Congress: Our farmers need the USMCA Trump signs long-awaited .1B disaster aid bill 58 GOP lawmakers vote against 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 GrangerICE emerges as stumbling block in government funding talks Congress hunts for path out of spending stalemate This week: House kicks off public phase of impeachment inquiry MORE (R-Texas) referred to the maneuver as a “political stunt,” and Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyOn The Money: Lawmakers strike spending deal | US, China reach limited trade deal ahead of tariff deadline | Lighthizer fails to quell GOP angst over new NAFTA Lawmakers strike spending deal to avert shutdown McConnell accuses Democrats of stonewalling funding talks with wall demands  MORE (D-N.Y.) accused the members of “grandstanding.”