Third time is not a charm - disaster aid bill blocked again in House

For the third time in less than a week, a House Republican lawmaker objected to final approval of a $19.1 billion disaster relief plan already passed by the Senate, preventing the measure from going to the President's desk until early next week, as critics said the proposal deserves a formal roll call vote of the full House.

Making the objection from the House floor on Thursday was freshman Rep. John Rose (R-TN), which means the disaster aid for victims of hurricanes, floods, wildfires, and more will come up for a vote in the full House next week.

"I urge the Speaker of the House - who is also not here today - to return to her post, and call Congress back to Washington to do the people's work," said Rose, as he objected to passing the disaster relief measure by unanimous consent.

Lawmakers will be back on Monday, as Democrats say a vote will be held on the disaster aid plan early next week.

The objection again left southern lawmakers aggravated - especially in Georgia - as they try to explain months of delays in getting aid to farmers hit by Hurricane Michael last year.

Earlier this week, Rep. Austin Scott (R-GA) called his fellow Republicans 'clowns' for objecting to the disaster relief.

He again publicly expressed his frustration on Thursday.

Republicans did allow the approval of a Senate bill which extends the life of the National Flood Insurance Program for two weeks; it would have expired on Friday.

A provision in the larger disaster bill extends the NFIP until the end of September, giving lawmakers more time to try to reach a bipartisan deal on ways to reform the flood insurance program, which is billions of dollars in debt.

Democrats again criticized the GOP for blocking approval of the disaster relief.

“This is partisan grandstanding while people continue to suffer,” said Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL).

“Every day that House Republicans obstruct and delay, more American families are left to suffer,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.  “This sabotage is unconscionable, dangerous and must stop.”

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