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Again, One Lawmaker Blocks Disaster Aid Passage

Kentucky Republican stalls $19B package
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted May 28, 2019 4:56 PM CDT
Rep. Thomas Massie speaks to reporters at the Capitol on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – For the second time in less than a week, a House Republican has prevented a $19.1 billion federal disaster aid package from passing Congress. That makes it more likely that the measure won't be approved until the House returns from recess next Monday, the Hill reports. When the bill came up for unanimous consent Tuesday, Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky objected, saying Speaker Nancy Pelosi "should have called a vote on this bill before sending every member of Congress on recess for 10 days." Rep. Chip Roy of Texas blocked passage on Friday, objecting to the cost and the lack of funding requested by the Trump administration to cope with migrants at the Mexico border.

Members of both parties criticized Massie, as they had Roy; the measure has the support of Democrats and GOP leaders. "I cannot understand why any member would object to giving relief to so many millions of our citizens who have been badly damaged by natural disasters," Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said, per Politico. Sen. David Perdue, a Georgia Republican, tweeted, "It's pathetic that some members have chosen this moment to grandstand & get into the national headlines." Another pro forma House session is scheduled for Thursday, but Republicans have said they intend to keep preventing the disaster aid from passing. The bill passed the Senate, and President Trump has said he'll sign it. (Roy said the bill should receive a full debate and a regular vote.)

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