House approves much-delayed $19.1B disaster aid bill

House approves much-delayed $19.1B disaster aid bill
© Getty Images

The House on Monday passed a $19.1 billion disaster relief package, finally sending legislation to the White House that had been repeatedly blocked by conservatives over the Memorial Day recess.

The legislation was approved in a 354-58 vote.

The House sought to move the bill three times by unanimous consent over the last week, but the vote was blocked by a different conservative Republican each time.

ADVERTISEMENT

GOP Reps. Chip RoyCharles (Chip) Eugene RoyTexas Republicans sound alarm about rapidly evolving state GOP lawmakers call for provisions barring DOD funds for border wall to be dropped Lawmakers mark anniversary of Martin Luther King 'I have a dream' speech MORE (Texas), Thomas MassieThomas Harold MassieScalise blasts Democratic legislation on gun reforms Airports 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 MORE (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 (Tenn.) each blocked the unanimous consent vote, arguing there should be a full debate on the measure.

Roy, a former staffer to Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzCruz endorses GOP candidate for Senate in New Hampshire Missouri Republican wins annual craft brewing competition for lawmakers GOP signals unease with Barr's gun plan MORE (R-Texas), argued the spending should be offset by other spending cuts and said he was concerned about adding to the national debt.

“The American people send their representatives to Washington to represent them. They deserve to see how we vote. 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 on the floor Monday.

The measure includes funding for communities hit by various natural disasters across the country. It also includes $900 million in aid to Puerto Rico, funding that was initially opposed by President TrumpDonald John TrumpMarine unit in Florida reportedly pushing to hold annual ball at Trump property Giuliani clashes with CNN's Cuomo, calls him a 'sellout' and the 'enemy' Giuliani says 'of course' he asked Ukraine to look into Biden seconds after denying it MORE as being too much.

The measure passed the Senate in an 85-8 vote in late May.

A number of lawmakers during Monday’s debate criticized Congress’s failure to pass the bill last week.

“Today we're rejecting the political stunts and grandstanding that have made it difficult to deliver much-needed disaster relief to families and communities across America,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita LoweyNita Sue LoweyHouse votes to avert shutdown, fund government through November The Hill's Morning Report - Pompeo condemns Iran for 'act of war' while Trump moves with caution Two years after Maria, Puerto Rico awaits disaster funds MORE (D-N.Y.) ahead of the vote.

The three conservatives who had blocked the bill also took heat from their fellow Republicans.

House Appropriations Committee ranking member Kay GrangerNorvell (Kay) Kay GrangerHouse votes to avert shutdown, fund government through November Lobbying world House approves bill increasing federal worker pay MORE (R-Texas) accused them of pulling a “political stunt.” 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.) last week called them “clowns” in a tweet.