Disaster of a Disaster Bill

Late last week, the U.S. Senate reached a deal on the disaster supplemental. The final cost of the bill came to $19 billion in “emergency” spending. President Trump, at the urging of Senate leaders, dropped his demand that the bill be rejected and it was passed in the Senate by a vote of 85-8.

Here are the eight Senators, all Republicans, who voted no:

Marsha Blackburn (TN)

Mike Braun (IN)

Mike Crapo (ID)

Mike Lee (UT)

Martha McSally (AZ)

Rand Paul (KY)

James Risch (ID)

Mitt Romney (UT)

These eight were joined by Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming in opposing waiving the budget rule for the bill.

You can see the final vote here and the vote on waiving the budget rule here.

The bill had previously passed the House the week before by a vote of 257-150. You can see the roll-call here.

The spending in this bill does not have to be offset because it is classified as

emergency spending—even though a lot of the spending in the bill does not meet the definition of emergency. The House addresses this by adding a provision in the rule for the bill defining emergency spending as any spending in the bill!

After the Senate passed the bill, House leadership tried to ram it through when most members had left for the Memorial Day District work period. Representative Chip Roy (TX—21) caught wind of this scheme and returned to the Hill (he had been at the airport getting ready to head back to Texas) to prevent unanimous consent.

The House tried again to bring up the bill, but this time Representative Thomas Massie (KY-04) denied consent. The House will thus debate and have a public up-or-down roll-call vote on the bill when they return next week.

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