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House GOP blocks relief for disaster victims for third time in a week

House Republicans blocked a non-controversial $19 billion disaster relief aid bill yet again.

By Emily Singer - May 30, 2019
Rep. John Rose

Victims of natural disasters will have to wait yet again for critical relief funds after yet another House Republican on Thursday blocked passage of a $19 billion aid package.

This time, it was Rep. John Rose (R-TN) — yet another Republican lawmaker who inexplicably thinks blocking a non-controversial aid package as natural disasters ravage the country would somehow bolster the GOP’s image among voters.

Rose objected to House Democrats’ attempting to pass the aid package by unanimous consent. He follows two other GOP lawmakers who have made similar moves over the past week: Reps. Chip Roy of Texas and Thomas Massie of Kentucky.

All three GOP lawmakers reside in states that have been hit by natural disasters, be it hurricanes or floods. And by blocking the aid package, they are ensuring that constituents in their states will have to wait for funding to clean up the damage the natural disasters wrought.

The Republican House members who have blocked the relief package have gained negative headlines for the GOP, and have caused some of their fellow Republican lawmakers to lash out at their antics.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer replied in a statement, “Republicans need to stop the political games, stop the delays and pass this bipartisan bill immediately.”

“This is yet another example of politicians putting their own self-interest ahead of the national interest,” Sen. David Perdue (R-GA), who voted for the aid package in the Senate, tweeted on Tuesday when Massie blocked passage of the bill. “It’s pathetic that some members have chosen this moment to grandstand & get into the national headlines.”

Perdue was one GOP lawmaker who worked to get Trump to back off ridiculous demands to strip the bill of disaster relief for Puerto Rico, as well as add funding for border security. When Trump finally agreed to drop his pointless objections to the disaster relief bill, the legislation went on to sail through the Senate by an 85-8 margin before the upper chamber left town last week.

Because the House had already easily passed a similar bill weeks earlier, but still has to OK the Senate’s changes.

Yet because the House had already left town for recess when the Senate passed the legislation, House leaders attempted to OK the bill by unanimous consent. However, these three Republicans were able to unilaterally hold the bill up from passage, forcing disaster victims to unnecessarily wait longer for relief.

The House is assured to OK the Senate’s changes to the relief bill when it returns from recess on June 4.

But this wait was pointless — the product of GOP grandstanding that did nothing but cause harm to innocent storm victims.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

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