Key Trump ally rips fellow Republicans over disaster aid delay

As a second Republican House member delayed final approval of a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill on Tuesday, a top Congressional ally of President Donald Trump publicly denounced those GOP objections, accusing fellow Republicans of grandstanding against a relief plan which is backed by the White House.

"It's time to stop the political games," said Sen. David Perdue of Georgia, who helped seal the disaster aid deal with the President last Thursday. "It's time to get disaster relief across the finish line."

Hours after Rep. Tom Massie (R-KY) blocked an effort by House leaders of both parties to give final approval to the disaster bill without a formal roll call vote, Perdue said it was 'pathetic' that GOP lawmakers 'have chosen this moment to grandstand,' leading a series of pointed rebukes from GOP members in Georgia, who have pleaded for help for their state's farmers, hit hard by Hurricane Michael.

"Unfortunately, more clowns showed up today to once again delay disaster relief for the states and farmers devastated by the storms of 2018," said Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA), who has also criticized the White House for a lack of urgency in getting storm relief through the Congress.

The Tuesday objection took the same form as last Friday on the House floor, when Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) also refused to allow the disaster bill to be sent to the President for his signature.

Roy and a handful of other Republicans spent much of Tuesday trying to shift blame for the delay to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, arguing that Democrats should have brought Congress back from a Memorial Day break in order to vote on the disaster plan.

"To expect Congress to do its job - to show up to work - to debate - to make tough choices - to spend within its means - to move swiftly but effectively... these are the things the American people expect," Roy tweeted.

"I was just here to stop legislative malpractice today," Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) said after blocking the bill on Tuesday, echoing Roy's request for a roll call vote.

But not only did Massie block the disaster bill, he also refused to allow the approval of a short-term extension of the National Flood Insurance Program passed last week by the Senate.

That also drew an exasperated reaction on Capitol Hill, and in flood prone states.

House GOP leaders had signed off on approval of both the disaster relief bill and the short-term flood insurance program extension - but that was not enough to forestall Massie's objection.

The House will try again on Thursday - if there is a repeat, then the lawmakers will vote on both measures next week.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

About the Author