A Senate-passed disaster aid bill covering this year’s historic Midwest floods suffered a temporary setback in the US House Friday. Most House members had left town Thursday, before the Senate passed a 19-billion-dollar disaster aid package on an overwhelming 85-8 vote. Meeting with just a handful of members in a so-called ‘pro forma’ session Friday morning, Texas Republican Chip Roy blocked a procedural move by Democrats to pass the Senate bill by unanimous consent.
“If I do not object, Congress will have passed into law a bill that spends 19-billion dollars of taxpayer money, without members of Congress being present, here in our nation’s capital, to vote on it.”
But Roy and some Republicans also objected to more federal borrowing to pay for the aid and to Democrats denying the president 4-billion for border beds for a flood of illegal immigrants.
“There’s no reason this disaster supplemental should not have included the quite modest, 4-point-4 billion dollars that Director of OMB Voight sent to Capitol Hill, to ensure DHS and HHS do not run out of money, which they’re slated to do, while managing the over 100-thousand illegal aliens crossing our border, being apprehended, and unaccompanied minor children, being unable to be housed appropriately.”
Roy then made the formal, verbal objection on the floor that was needed to block passage by unanimous consent. But the full House will be back in session after the holiday, on Tuesday and will likely have the votes then to send the bill to the president, who plans to reluctantly sign it. The measure includes 3-billion for farm related losses of crops, dairy, on-farm stored crops, prevented planting and more, covering the historic Midwest floods and earlier storms in the Southeast and Puerto Rico, and wildfires in the West.