The disaster aid bill that is sailing through Congress right now is getting mixed reviews. Moderates and Democrat are happy about it, but the more conservative elements of the Republican caucus see it for what it is.
One of those conservatives, Texas Congressman Bill Flores, has the best description for the bill to date:
“It’s a crap sandwich,” one Texas Republican says of tying debt ceiling, government funding to Harvey disaster aid. https://t.co/z8CUbR172J
— Roll Call (@rollcall) September 8, 2017
And there is a large number of House conservatives who will oppose the bill.
Republican Study Committee Chairman Mark Walker said two-thirds of the more than 150-member conservative caucus plan to vote against the bill expected on the House floor Friday. That includes Walker.
“You’re not going to get the majority of the majority of Republicans,” the North Carolina Republican said.
Another one of those Republicans, Texas Rep. Joe L. Barton, said he would vote no on the bill because the debt ceiling extension included in the package weighed heavily on him.
“I’m voting no because we have a debt ceiling vote with no reform attached to it. Period,” Barton said. “It’s unfortunate. They ought to be separate votes.”
Rep. Roger Williams, another Texas Republican, said he was undecided about how he would cast his vote. While Williams said he did not want to vote against providing aid to those seeking disaster relief, he does not vote in favor of debt limit increases or temporary government funding.
“I hate it,” Williams said. “It just goes against everything I do.”
It puts Texas lawmakers in a difficult position. Aid their state and make a vote that goes against their conservative ideology, or vote against that aid to their state and risk unpopularity back home.
Their problem is one that didn’t have to exist, but it does thanks to Donald Trump, who handed the Democrats exactly what they wanted two days ago. He tied Republicans’ hands on the issue. And now they have to make a crappy choice.