House members left town Thursday-before the Senate had yet struck a deal on the disaster aid bill-for the congressional recess, and will not return until June 3. Some are saying the House could try to pass it again during another pro forma session next week, or they may have to wait until the chamber returns in June after the holiday break.
The legislation provides $600 million in nutrition assistance and $304 million in community development grants for Puerto Rico, which Democrats had requested.
The measure would fund infrastructure development, rural community assistance, and disaster damage mitigation in the USA island territory of Puerto Rico and states like California, Florida, North and South Carolina, Iowa and Roy's state of Texas. Roy's move on Friday holds back the bill's passage by potentially another 11 days.
In raising his objection on the House floor, Roy cited his concern that the disaster aid package didn't include money that the Trump administration sought for efforts to curb illegal immigration at the southern border and that it would pass without a roll call vote from the House.
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"I am troubled by the fact it spends over $19 billion that is not paid for when we are racking up approximately $100 million an hour in national debt".
Friday's action played out in a almost empty House chamber as most of its members have left Washington for a week-long Memorial Day holiday recess.
Congress regularly approves "emergency" disaster aid bills without any cuts to other programs, despite objections from some conservative lawmakers.
"Congressman Roy just singlehandedly blocked a unanimous, bipartisan agreement on disaster relief", DCCC Spokesperson Avery Jaffe said in a statement. "Do you feel all mighty [and] powerful that you stopped a bipartisan disaster relief bill?" The president said he supported it, dropping his demand to add funds to deal with the influx of migrants at the US border with Mexico.
She went on to say: "Every House Republican needs to answer to the American people why they are standing in the way of urgently needed disaster relief for families struggling to heal and recover".