May 24 (UPI) -- A $19.1 billion disaster aid package to help victims of the California wildfires, Midwest floods and coastal hurricanes might have to wait until at least June 3 before it can be signed by President Donald Trump.
The Senate passed the aid package Thursday and the House would've passed it Friday with unanimous consent in a pro forma session, but there was one objection -- from Texas Rep. Chip Roy.
The Texas Republican said he objected because the bill lacks funding for the crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border.
"There is no reason this disaster supplemental should not have included the quite modest $4.4 billion," he said on the House floor, "to ensure DHS and HHS do not run out of money, which they're slated to do while managing the over 100,000 illegal aliens crossing our border being apprehended and the unaccompanied alien minor children being unable to be housed appropriately."
"One of many reasons I had to object today to consenting to the funding bill," he tweeted in response to a complaint from Uvalde, Texas, Mayor Don McLaughlin about migrants in his town. "Protecting the House but also noting we are doing nothing file Texas Border & communities."
Roy also said the bill would drive up the federal deficit, and criticized the lawmakers who have already left for Memorial Day recess. They return June 3.
"The people, particularly in Texas ... are tired of the swamp and this is a very swampy thing to do," he said. "We could have done our job yesterday when we had 435 members of Congress who should be here and should vote."
Disagreements on how much funding to give Puerto Rico -- which is still recovering from Hurricane Maria -- have already delayed the bill. Puerto Rico would get $1 billion under the proposal, including $600 million in emergency funding for the food stamp program and $300 million for infrastructure projects.
House appropriations committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey criticized Roy for making victims wait longer for aid.
"After President Trump and Senate Republicans delayed disaster relief for more than four months, it is deeply disappointing that House Republicans are now making disaster victims wait even longer to get the help they need," Lowey said.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Roy's vote "sabotage."
"Countless American families hit by devastating natural disasters across the country will now be denied the relief they urgently need," Pelosi said. "Every House Republican needs to answer to the American people why they are standing in the way."
The remaining House members will hold another pro forma session Tuesday, with only a few lawmakers present,to try again to pass the aid package. When asked if and how he would vote then, Roy said, "We'll see. I think the story would remain the same, I've got to do my job and get to the district. But we'll see."