‘Brutal contempt’: Debbie Wasserman Schultz calls out GOP after storm relief bill blocked again

Debbie Wasserman Schultz 07.25.16
"Instead of providing swift relief, Republicans again today offered only prolonged misery."

U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, following the lead of U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, became the second House Republican to block a $19.1 billion funding package that would aid hurricane victims in Florida, Puerto Rico and Texas.

Now, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is trying to tie the actions by the duo to Republicans in the House writ large.

“Natural disasters have mercilessly ravaged so many American communities, but instead of providing swift relief, Republicans again today offered only prolonged misery,” Wasserman Schultz said.

“The brutal contempt that House Republicans continue to show for those suffering in the Midwest, Florida’s Panhandle, Puerto Rico and our military base communities is dangerous, cruel and costlier over the long term.”

It’s expected the funding package will eventually pass once the House returns from its holiday recess on June 3.

At issue are efforts to use the unanimous consent procedure to advance a $19.1 billion aid package already approved by the Senate.

The House first attempted to use unanimous consent last Friday, as several members had already left for the holiday. The Senate had signed off on the measure the day before.

But Rep. Roy of Texas refused to provide unanimous consent, blocking the measure.

Tuesday, the House again tried to pass the aid package via unanimous consent. This time, it was Rep. Massie of Kentucky who blocked it.

Like Roy, Massie raised procedural issues, arguing that the House should have remained in regular session in order to cast a roll call vote.

“If Speaker [Nancy] Pelosi considered this must-pass legislation, why did she send everybody home on recess for 10 days without voting on it? To pass a $19 billion bill like this, without a recorded vote, is legislative malpractice,” Massie said.

While Wasserman Schultz is calling out House Republicans for the move, other GOP officials in Washington have backed the measure. The Republican-controlled Senate approved the aid package by a vote of 85-8. And President Donald Trump has said he would sign it.

There’s even disagreement among House Republicans. After Roy first blocked the vote on Friday, his Republican colleague from Texas, U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, called his actions a “political stunt” and said she favored the relief money.

Roy was also called out in a newspaper ad Tuesday paid for by several members of the business community in the Florida Panhandle.

“When Texas was hit by Hurricane Harvey, Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis and a group of friends went to Beaumont, Texas, to help. He served the Texans with his own time and money,” the ad begins, citing efforts by Patronis to aid victims after Harvey struck Texas in 2017.

“After Hurricane Michael, Chip Roy served himself with a political stunt that prevented relief to the suffering victims of Florida.”

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer says the House will make a third attempt to use unanimous consent to advance the bill on Thursday.

Should a member of Congress again block the move, the measure would have to wait until the House break ends on June 3. A full floor vote will give Republicans the chance to show where they stand on the package as a whole.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected]


4 comments

  • Cogent Observer

    May 28, 2019 at 3:18 pm

    Debbie–What have you, personally, done to help these people? You do a lot of political grandstanding to ensure your own re-election and continued dining from the public trough, but really, what have you done to help? Why not donate 6 months’ of your salary to a family in need? Why not solicit some of your wealthy South Florida political donors to help support and rebuild for several families? I guess that is too much like genuine problem-solving.
    And that hair–that’s really what is brutal.

    • VoteDem2020

      May 28, 2019 at 4:14 pm

      Typically childish school-yard comment about the hair by some middle-schooler style Republican! Just like Trump!

  • VoteDem2020

    May 28, 2019 at 4:02 pm

    Re[publicans have been and are against … Social Security … Medicare … Medicaid … the Affordable Care Act … the Civil Rights Act … the Voting rights Act … Equal Opportunity Employment Act …Affirmative Action … Common Core … welfare programs … the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare … labor unions and the Fair Labor Standards Act … minimum wage increases … gun control … climate change issues … embryonic stem cell research … environmental protection issues … LGBTQ issues … consumer-oriented regulation of business and finance … federally-owned National Parks … and on and on and on!

    WHY the hell would any normal, informed, and thinking person EVER vote Republican?

    • Cogent Observer

      May 28, 2019 at 5:14 pm

      Because conservative and free-market solutions work, and throwing money and enlarging a bureaucratic state do not. Your reference to the current President is irrelevant, as he neither adheres to nor bases policies upon conservative or free-market principles.
      It is, indeed, odd, that you have concluded, apparently based upon no evidence, that all Republicans are against all of the issues that you list. Indeed, there are some who have lost their way and are in favor of some of them, notably, ACA, Common Core, minimum wage increases (I presume that you are in favor of the federal government dictating to business what it should pay even an unskilled employee), and “consumer-oriented business and financial regulation” (an undefined term. But, I can only presume that you mean that businesses and financial organizations should not be permitted to operate as they see fit within the bounds of existing law; instead, that they should reduce prices and fees to accommodate people of low means or relinquish their ownership to the government).
      Cacophonous by its absence is any substantive response to my initial question about what the esteemed Ms. Shultz has personally done to assist the people whose plight she opines. Or, for that matter, her political donors. Avoidance of hard questions is as easy for those sharing your belief system as the belief that throwing other people’s earnings at an issue will solve it.
      It is very easy to whine and to cast aspersions while taking no action. As you and your minions well know.

Comments are closed.


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