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Published: Thursday, May 30, 2019 @ 4:42 PM
— For the third time in less than a week, a House Republican lawmaker objected to final approval of a $19.1 billion disaster relief plan already passed by the Senate, preventing the measure from going to the President's desk until early next week, as critics said the proposal deserves a formal roll call vote of the full House.
Making the objection from the House floor on Thursday was freshman Rep. John Rose (R-TN), which means the disaster aid for victims of hurricanes, floods, wildfires, and more will come up for a vote in the full House next week.
"I urge the Speaker of the House - who is also not here today - to return to her post, and call Congress back to Washington to do the people's work," said Rose, as he objected to passing the disaster relief measure by unanimous consent.
Lawmakers will be back on Monday, as Democrats say a vote will be held on the disaster aid plan early next week.
.@RepJohnRose objects to unanimous consent request for House to approve Senate-passed $19.1 disaster relief bill w/o roll call vote. "I urge the Speaker of the House, who is also not here today, to return to her post and call Congress back to Washington to do the people's work." pic.twitter.com/KXguvmXNmK— CSPAN (@cspan) May 30, 2019
Rep. John Rose (R-TN) objects to unanimous consent request to pass disaster relief bill in pro-forma House session. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) sat next to him. Third such attempt from Democratic leaders.— Jared Halpern (@JaredHalpern) May 30, 2019
The objection again left southern lawmakers aggravated - especially in Georgia - as they try to explain months of delays in getting aid to farmers hit by Hurricane Michael last year.
Earlier this week, Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA) called his fellow Republicans 'clowns' for objecting to the disaster relief.
He again publicly expressed his frustration on Thursday.
For the 3rd time in a week, self-serving Members have blocked much-needed disaster assistance for communities impacted by natural disasters. They seek no changes to the package, only to make a name for themselves. The facts remain the same: This will pass the 1st week of June.— Rep. Austin Scott (@AustinScottGA08) May 30, 2019
Republicans did allow the approval of a Senate bill which extends the life of the National Flood Insurance Program for two weeks; it would have expired on Friday.
A provision in the larger disaster bill extends the NFIP until the end of September, giving lawmakers more time to try to reach a bipartisan deal on ways to reform the flood insurance program, which is billions of dollars in debt.
Democrats again criticized the GOP for blocking approval of the disaster relief.
House approps chair Nita Lowey: “It is beyond comprehension that anyone would think 15 minutes of fame is worth making disaster victims, like those in flood-battered Tennessee, wait even longer for the help they need.”— Niv Elis (@NivElis) May 30, 2019
“This is partisan grandstanding while people continue to suffer,” said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL).
“Every day that House Republicans obstruct and delay, more American families are left to suffer,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “This sabotage is unconscionable, dangerous and must stop.”