Friday, May 24, 2019

San Antonio Congressman Chip Roy Singlehandedly Holds Up Disaster Relief Bill That Would Aid Texas Communities

Posted By on Fri, May 24, 2019 at 1:42 PM

Chip Roy represents District 21, which includes North San Antonio and the Texas Hill Country. - COURTESY OF UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
  • Courtesy of United States House of Representatives
  • Chip Roy represents District 21, which includes North San Antonio and the Texas Hill Country.
San Antonio Congressman Chip Roy sure is making his first term a memorable one.

A few days after a red-faced meltdown in defense of drug makers taking as much profit as they damn well please, the Republican lawmaker has singlehandedly held up an aid package that would flow $4 billion to parts of Texas prone to hurricane damage.

Members of the U.S. House had hoped to advance the $19 billion aid bill using unanimous consent to get it to President Trump's desk before the holiday weekend. The president had pledged to sign the measure.

The problem with that procedural move is it only takes one person to object to unanimous consent. And that person was Roy.

The freshman lawmaker told CNN he just couldn't let the bill pass without debate if it didn't include money for border security.

"We're not elected to have things pass through consent without debate," Roy told the news channel. "We should have had a vigorous debate, and we should have a debate about why we're not securing the border and why we're spending money we don't have."

Even if the House rushes a vote once it returns from recess on June 3, the Office of Management and Budget could end up waiting until late summer to release the funds, according to the Texas Tribune — "a time frame that blows past much of hurricane season, which begins June 1."

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, seeing opportunity to help shoo Roy out of office in 2020, issued a news release blasting his move. Roy won the seat by fewer than 10,000 votes.

Earlier this week, Roy gave the DCCC more ammo by being one of just three House members to vote against a measure that would protect relatives of deceased military personnel, known as Gold Star Families, from being hit with a tax charge when they collect survivor benefits.

"Congressman Roy just singlehandedly blocked a unanimous, bipartisan agreement on disaster relief," DCCC spokesman Avery Jaffe said in a written statement. "That’s a fitting close to a month where he stood on the side of drug companies overcharging Americans for their prescriptions and voted for higher taxes on Gold Star families. Every day Congressman Roy spends in Washington he turns more into a creature of the swamp, making it clear why this is a top tier Democratic pickup opportunity.”

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