Congress finally passes federal disaster relief bill, without AZ Republicans (Updated)

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The federal disaster relief bill was overwhelmingly approved by the Senate last month, but was blocked three times by individual House Republicans last week when the bill was scheduled for a vote in the House on the consent calendar — these Republicans objected to unanimous consent — during the congressional recess.

On Monday, Congress returned from recess and finally put an end to this Republican obstruction. Congress Gives Final Approval to Long-Delayed Disaster Aid:

Congress gave final approval on Monday to a long-delayed disaster aid package, ending the congressional impasse that has stymied efforts to send billions of dollars in relief to ongoing recovery efforts from a series of natural disasters.

The 354-to-58 House vote capped a lengthy and complex odyssey for the $19.1 billion package, which the Senate overwhelmingly approved late last month before departing for recess. Every House Democrat in attendance, along with 132 Republicans, supported the measure, allowing it to overcome the two-thirds procedural threshold under a suspension of House rules.

Arizona Delegation: Yeah: Gallego, Grijalva, Kirkpatrick, O’Halleran, Stanton; Nay: Biggs, Gosar, Lesko, Schweikert.

So if Arizona suffers a natural disaster — fire and flood seasons are coming — in the congressional district of one of these heartless Republicans, the rest of the country will refuse to provide relief as political pay back. Thanks, dumbasses.

UPDATE: Think Progress reports These 43 Republicans voted against disaster relief funding after demanding it for their own states:

Andy Biggs (R-AZ) Requested federal disaster relief for the Navajo Nation in Arizona just last month (May 2019).

Paul Gosar (R-AZ) Requested federal disaster relief for the Navajo Nation in Arizona just last month (May 2019) and flood mitigation assistance in March 2011.

Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) Requested federal disaster relief for the Navajo Nation in Arizona just last month (May 2019).

David Schweikert (R-AZ) Requested federal disaster relief for the Navajo Nation in Arizona just last month (May 2019).

“Today we are rejecting the political stunts and grandstanding that have made it difficult to deliver much-needed disaster relief to families and communities across America,” said Representative Nita M. Lowey, a New York Democrat who is chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee and a chief architect of the bill.

U.S. President Donald Trump tosses rolls of paper towels to people at a hurricane relief distribution center at Calvary Chapel in San Juan, Puerto Rico, October 3, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

President Trump, who initially opposed the bill, freezing its progress in the Senate, now says he will sign it, although it includes $900 million for Puerto Rico’s recovery efforts from hurricanes in 2017 that he did not want and does not include $4.5 billion that he requested in supplemental aid for the southwestern border. “Farmers, Puerto Rico and all will be very happy,” he tweeted shortly after the vote.

This is the first time Congress has approved a broad disaster relief package since February 2018. The measure passed Monday will address disasters in the year since: hurricanes in Florida, Georgia, Alabama and the Carolinas, wildfires in California, and floods in the Midwest.

Across both chambers, there was widespread relief that the House had finally passed the measure, capping off one of the most laborious approval processes for emergency relief in recent memory. The package was stymied for months as lawmakers squabbled over how much money to allocate to Puerto Rico’s hurricane recovery over the president’s opposition. Democrats in both chambers were adamant that the commonwealth, which does not have voting representation in Congress, needed more money.

“Those who have endured devastating natural disasters deserve to know that the federal government will not leave them to meet these challenges alone,” said Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, the majority leader.

The bill includes an extension of the National Flood Insurance Program and more than $3 billion to rebuild military bases and Coast Guard facilities. It also provides $2.4 billion for community development block grants in Puerto Rico and states, and $3.25 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers to repair damaged infrastructure and prepare for future storms.

This is one instance of Democrats overcoming “The Enemy of The People,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s “total obstruction” blockade of any legislation passed by the Democratic House. Only because the natural disasters occurred in Republican states, and they would lose the support of voters.