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58 GOP lawmakers vote against disaster aid bill

Fifty-eight Republican lawmakers voted against a sweeping $19.1 billion disaster relief package on Monday. 

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Critics of the legislation — which provides funding to recovery efforts in areas affected by wildfires, hurricanes and flooding as well as block grants and nutrition assistance for Puerto Rico — cited concerns over its impact on the national debt and its lack of border funding as factors in their decision to vote against the measure. 

“While I am happy the speaker chose to go back to regular procedure, I am still troubled that we passed $19.1 billion that is not paid for when we are racking up approximately $100 million an hour in national debt. At some point--before it is too late--Congress must get serious about restraining out-of-control spending,” Roy said in a statement.

“I am also troubled that, after over a month, congressional leadership has yet to move forward with the quite modest $4.4 billion request from [Office of Management and Budget] Director Russ Vought to ensure [the Department of Homeland Security] and [the Department of Health and Human Services] do not run out of money. This request ... includes billions for the care and placement of unaccompanied alien children, otherwise known as the UAC program. Just as we should respond in a responsible manner to the natural disasters, we should respond to the humanitarian crisis occurring at our southern border,” Roy continued.

Roy was one of three congressmen who objected to passing the bill by unanimous consent last week.

Conservative groups including Club for Growth and FreedomWorks advocated against its passage, arguing that Congress failed to provide offsets for the spending, and blasted the attempts to pass the measure during pro forma sessions.

“The bill is simply nothing that any Republican should support. It appropriates too much money; more money than last month’s previously-passed versions of the legislation which 150 Republicans voted against,” FreedomWorks wrote.

“When there is already more than $29 billion of disaster relief money still unspent and our nation is more than $22 trillion in debt, the last thing we need to be doing is appropriating money that we don’t have, to causes that we don’t fully or at all understand, in an unlimited and reckless manner,” FreedomWorks continued.

The bill’s passage comes in the wake of Roy, Massie and Rep. John RoseJohn Williams RoseREAD: The Republicans who voted to challenge election results Why your neighborhood community pharmacy may close From state agriculture departments to Congress: Our farmers need the USMCA MORE (R-Tenn.) acting to block the measure from being passed via unanimous consent while Congress was out of session for Memorial Day recess — a move that sparked a flurry of bipartisan backlash from members who accused them of “political stunts and grandstanding.”

The three lawmakers argued the bill warranted debate and felt members’ stance on the bill should be on the record given the levels of spending.