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Rep. Massie's Fellow Republicans Fume at Him for Blocking Disaster Funding Bill

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) blocked a Democratic-led disaster relief bill on Tuesday, making it the second time a Republican has stopped the legislation in its tracks. The Senate passed the $19.1 billion disaster relief bill last Thursday by 85-8. It includes $900 million for Puerto Rico, devastated by Hurricane Maria last year, and states that have been hammered by tornadoes, flooding, wildfires, and other natural disasters. The White House wanted it to include border wall funding, but, after getting nowhere with Democrats on that front, Trump said he'd no longer hold up the disaster aid.

House leadership wants to pass it via unanimous consent, but Massie objects to the process, reasoning that lawmakers should at least be allowed to vote on it, considering how much money they're dealing with here.

He also wondered aloud why Pelosi let them go on recess if the bill was an emergency.

"If the speaker of this House felt that this was must-pass legislation, the speaker of this House should have called a vote on this legislation before sending its members on recess for 10 days,” he said on the House floor.

But, many of his colleagues, including a few of his fellow Republicans, questioned Massie's motives and argue that now is not the time to engage in political self-interests.

It's the second time in a week a Republican lawmaker delayed the disaster aid package. On Friday, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) demanded they take a proper vote on the measure, with debates and all. 

The House will have another chance to pass the measure on Thursday.

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