AUSTIN (KXAN) — $19 billion dollars in disaster relief was delayed across the country because of action by a Central Texas Congressman, Rep. Chip Roy, R- Austin.
Congressman Roy tells KXAN he is against the disaster aid package because it would add to the debt. So he delayed that money a week by making a point. It was going to pass on two person voice vote when every other member of Congress left for Memorial Day recess.
Rep. Roy stayed and objected, delaying the vote until everybody goes back to D.C. next week.
The bill also included a provision that would’ve sped up $4 billion more dollars already approved for Texas specifically by requiring the Office of Management Budget to send money to Texas within 90-days. The Texas money was already approved by Congress.
Below is a snippet of an interview between Rep. Chip Roy and KXAN’s political reporter Phil Prazan.
Roy: “Process and substance go hand in hand. It’s $19 billion. That’s about 1.4 percent of our discretionary spending. That is a lot of money. We should vote on that. That is both procedural and substantive. I’m also concerned that it’s not paid for. But we can vote on that. Those that aren’t concerned about that can vote for it. I won’t vote for it because I think it should be paid for.”
Prazan: “There will be people who have been through these natural disasters and who will say ‘I don’t care if it’s a voice vote or a roll-call vote. We want the money as fast as possible.’ What do you say to folks like that?
Roy: “I understand why people would think that. But remember our job is to have a long view on what is important for the health and wellbeing of the United States. For me, having a pro-forma session, that’s not a real session of the House of Representatives, to have two members meet and pass something without members being there, is not the way that we are doing our duty to protect the American people.”
Prazan : “Someone can look at that answer and say the tax cuts were a major driver of the debt and the only thing that changed now is that Democrats are in charge of the House.”
Roy: “The question about tax cuts and paid for, is a question about is a different thought than having spending and whether you pay for spending… We can debate whether some of that produces more revenue or less but it’s still the people’s money. That’s what always gets lost in this. You’re taking people’s money to go spend for the government. I believe leaving more money in the American people create wealth, creates jobs, creates opportunity. And ultimately creates more revenue into the treasury because we have economic growth.”
WATCH: Full extended interview with Rep. Chip Roy below