House Passes $19B Disaster Aid Bill Over Trump Opposition

May 10, 2019

The House has passed a $19 billion disaster aid bill that would deliver long-sought relief to farmers, victims of hurricanes and floods, and rebuild southern military bases. Democrats controlling the chamber are trying to dislodge the legislation from a Senate logjam over aid to hurricane-slammed Puerto Rico.

Thursday evening, before the House vote, Trump took to twitter to urge House Republicans away from voting for the bill.

Despite the president's directive, 34 Republican members of the House crossed party lines to push the measure through and passed the funding bill. All Democratic members of Georgia’s congressional delegation supported the measure.

Three of Georgia’s nine GOP representatives voted in favor. Rep. Buddy Carter, Rep. Austin Scott and Rep. Rick Allen represent districts among the hardest hit southern and coastal regions of the state.

During a House Agriculture Committee hearing on Thursday, Scott blamed the White House Office of Management and Budget for the stall in disaster aid. He said administration officials there “consider the American farmer and the American farm family nothing but subsidy-sucking freeloaders, then there’s a disconnect in what is actually coming out of the administration, and what the administration is telling us that they’re going to do.”  

The newly passed package now heads to the senate where it failed to pass vote in January. Georgia Senators Johnny Isakson and David Perdue have vocally supported passing disaster relief funding for weeks. The two republicans will face pressure from the President, who will likely direct GOP members of the senate to reject the funding measure if it does not include border security funding, an idea that Democrats say will delay the delivery of aid to disaster victims.  

Friday’s measure passed by a 257-150 vote over the opposition of most Republicans, who said it should include the Trump administration’s $4.5 billion request for humanitarian aid and border enforcement. President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Thursday to urge Republicans to vote against the bill.

The House had passed an earlier $14 billion version of the measure in January, but the legislation has been held up in the Senate amid a fight between Trump and Democrats over aid to Puerto Rico.