February 2, 2023

Civil war just broke out in the GOP after a Republican blocked the disaster relief bill again

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For the second time in two weeks, a single Republican representative has obstructed the passage of a massive $19.1 billion disaster relief bill and kept beleaguered Americans waiting for the aid they need.


Claiming that he wanted to wait for the “entire House” to be back in session before approving the bill, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) held up the bill this morning, just days after Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) held up the bill in a shameless effort to extort money for President Trump’s border wall out of taxpayers.

“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,” said Massie, who was joined by Rep. Alex Mooney (R-WV) in his objection.

Massie’s obstruction means that the bill, which easily passed the Senate in an 85-8 vote, will not hit the president’s desk until early June, which means Americans struggling to recover from floods and hurricanes will have waited six months for their elected officials to put their politics aside and take action to help their constituents.

The continual delay has put serious strain on the GOP’s usually united front and prompted outbursts of disgust from Republican Senators and Representatives alike.

Senator David Purdue of Georgia slammed the move as “pathetic” and groused about how this what “yet another example of politicians putting their own self-interest ahead of the national interest.”

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His words were echoed by fellow Georgian Rep. Austin Scott, who torched Massie for being a “clown” and prolonging the suffering of those afflicted by an increasingly volatile and dangerous climate.

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House Democrats were equally bewildered and frustrated by Massie’s pointless power play. “Frankly I cannot understand why any member would object to giving relief to so many millions of our citizens who have been badly damaged by natural disasters,” complained House Majority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD).

It just goes to show how little most Republican representatives care about their constituents or the country they ostensibly are supposed to serve; Americans across the country have been waiting six months for these desperately needed funds and to delay it for a pointless political stunt is nothing but yet another display of the nihilistic cruelty that has come to define the modern Republican Party.

Hopefully, their voters will remember this when November 2020 rolls around.

Original reporting by Sarah Ferris and Jennifer Scholtes at POLITICO.

Colin Taylor

Managing Editor

Colin Taylor is the managing editor of the Washington Press. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice, equality, and universal health care in America.

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