- The Washington Times - Friday, May 24, 2019

A Republican on Friday blocked the disaster spending bill from speedy passage through the House, meaning it will be June before the chamber is able to return in full to approve the measure.

Democrats lashed out, saying the move was spiteful and would delay money getting to needy people.

But Rep. Chip Roy, a first-term Texas Republican whose objection derailed passage, said it was wrong to try to pass a $19.1 billion bill after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had sent lawmakers home for a 10-day Memorial Day vacation.

Mr. Roy also said the bill lacked the $4.5 billion President Trump asked for to take care of the border crisis.

“We’ve had months to figure this out,” Mr. Roy said.

The bill cleared the Senate on Thursday, after Mrs. Pelosi had released the chamber for its vacation. Republican leaders had urged her to keep the House in town to work on the bill.

Instead, Democrats sought to pass the bill by unanimous consent during a pro forma session, meaning every one of the House’s more than 400 members had to agree. Unsurprisingly, some did not.

Mr. Roy was the one to make an objection.

Mrs. Pelosi called it “last-minute sabotage.”

“Countless American families hit by devastating natural disasters across the country will now be denied the relief they urgently need,” the California Democrat said.

Mr. Trump has said he supports the bill, and said he’s been assured he’ll get the border money soon.

That optimism may be put to the test.

The Department of Health and Human Services says it will run out of money to hold illegal immigrant children, and soon will have to siphon money from refugees or victims of human trafficking.

Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security says it’s desperate for a new infusion of cash to provide better conditions for the illegal immigrant families and children caught at the border.

The border money was just one of the hiccups in the disaster bill.

Mr. Trump had objected to extra cash for Puerto Rico, saying the island territory already has gotten a record amount from taxpayers.

The bill ended up including $600 million for food assistance for Puerto Rico, and cash for recovery and rebuilding for states hit by tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and other catastrophes over the last two years.

The legislation will now likely be passed when the House returns from its vacation in two weeks.

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