disaster

Following a dramatic hurricane season last fall, residents of the Carolinas will have to wait even longer on a $19.1 billion disaster relief package.

This is because Reps. Chip Roy (R-Texas) and Tom Massie (R-Kentucky) have objected to the House of Representatives using a procedural measure to fast-track disaster relief.

Roy explained his objection as being the bill to fund disaster relief in North and South Carolina does not also include funding for the President’s wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

This is hardly the first time the Republican desire to fund the Trump wall has had dire economic consequences for everyday Americans, nor is it the only time disaster relief money has been threatened for wall funding.

Trump eyed the money funding hurricane relief in Roy’s state of Texas earlier this year. Many of Roy’s Texas Republican colleagues opposed that measure, though Roy was not among them.

Roy’s stance comes despite the fact that even Trump, himself, relented on the demand that border security funding be part of disaster relief.

Roy wasn’t in the chamber to block the procedural effort of unanimous consent to pass aid Tuesday as he had last Friday, but Massie was.

For his part, Massie opposed the fast-tracking of disaster relief apparently on principle.

“To pass a $19 billion bill like this without a recorded vote is legislative malpractice,” he told reporters.

Congress was expected to send the hurricane relief package to the Carolinas Friday, but thanks to Massie and Roy that will be delayed as the House will need to schedule a floor vote. As the House is on a week-long recess, this move effectively pushes back any possible aid to June.

Carolinians are eager for the funding, particularly farmers who are facing the double whammy of a tough time in the agriculture industry and the desperate hope for disaster relief.

“As Republicans and as conservatives, we believe that there is no more important function for the federal government than to be there during disasters,” said House Appropriations ranking member Kay Granger (R-Texas) in a statement.

Granger noted that the disaster relief measure also freed up $4 billion for Texas dating back to Hurricane Harvey in 2017, a move that Roy blocked for his own constituents.

 

Katelyn Kivel is a contributing editor and senior legal reporter for Grit Post in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Follow her on Twitter @KatelynKivel.

 

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