House Democrats' Push to Pass $19 Billion Disaster Aid Bill Without a Recorded Vote Blocked Again
Should the House return from recess early to vote on the $19 billion disaster relief bill?
by Countable | 5.28.19
House Democrats on Tuesday tried once again to pass a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill by unanimous consent during a pro forma session, but much like Friday’s request it was objected to by a Republican who called it “legislative malpractice” to pass such a significant bill without a recorded vote.
The House as a whole is on a “district work period” and won’t reconvene until it returns from recess next week, and most lawmakers left town Thursday afternoon when Democratic leadership announced there would be no further recorded votes for the week.
Later on Thursday, a bipartisan compromise was reached on a disaster relief package that excluded funds for the humanitarian crisis at the border. It received the blessing of President Donald Trump and passed the Senate that afternoon on an overwhelming 85-8 vote, but with most House lawmakers unable to return to in time for a recorded vote House Democrats resorted to the unanimous consent request that was objected to by Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) on Friday afternoon.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) took to the floor to discourage Republicans from objecting to today’s unanimous consent request, offered by Rep. Sanford Bishop (D-GA), saying the bill “needs to be passed as soon as possible for the welfare of our people who have been attacked by natural disasters.”
Two Republicans ― Reps. Thomas Massie (KY) and Alex Mooney (WV) ― were on hand to object to the request, with Massie responding to Hoyer:
“If the speaker of this House felt that this was must-pass legislation the speaker of this House should have called a vote on this bill before sending every member of Congress on recess for 10 days and I object.”
After the session concluded, Hoyer said that House Democrats will try a third time to pass the bill by unanimous consent during the final pro forma session of this recess on Thursday at 4:30pm. It will likely be blocked by Republicans once again, meaning that the House will take up the $19.1 billion disaster relief package (which would also extend the National Flood Insurance Program beyond May 31st) on a recorded vote next week.
— Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: iStock.com / peterspiro)
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