As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi explained Thursday morning, there’s a perfectly good disaster aid bill for $19.1 billion that the House passed just a few weeks ago, ready for the Senate to take up. There’s also one they passed back in January for about $13 billion, if they’d rather take that one.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, however, is persistent in ignoring that, even when the bill passed this month got 34 Republican votes—including one from Rep. Steve King!—and could undoubtedly pass in the Senate.
Instead, McConnell is going along with Donald Trump’s demand for border wall funding and insistence no more money be provided for Puerto Rico, which is still struggling to recover from 2017’s disaster, Hurricane Maria.
The House is scheduled to leave for a ten-day Memorial Day recess today. McConnell has said that he’d cancel that for the Senate if a bill isn’t passed this week. Meanwhile, tornado season has started early, on top of the widespread flooding the Midwest has been facing for weeks. At this rate, all those folks are going to be waiting until the next president for relief.
Something is going to have to break and it will have to be McConnell. He will have to stand up to Trump.