Congress has been putting together a disaster bill that funds relief to areas ravaged by wildfires, floods, and other natural disasters, and it looked like it would pass with support from both parties after a bit of negotiating — until Trump tweeted. But his message wasn’t received by some Republicans.
The president wrote on Thursday evening, “House Republicans should not vote for the BAD DEMOCRAT Disaster Supplemental Bill,” he added, “We want to do so much better than this.”
House Republicans should not vote for the BAD DEMOCRAT Disaster Supplemental Bill which hurts our States, Farmers & Border Security. Up for vote tomorrow. We want to do much better than this. All sides keep working and send a good BILL for immediate signing!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 9, 2019
Soon after, the president doubled down, writing, “Republicans must stick together!”
Republicans must stick together! https://t.co/APrvcjpqOp
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 10, 2019
But the president’s encouragement didn’t get everybody onto his side — 34 Republicans voted “yes” on the bill despite the Trump tweet. It passed with a count of 257 to 150.
There were a few notable names on the list of Republicans who voted “yes” on the bill. Among them, freshman Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas), who is the star figure in the GOP freshman class, often getting retweeted by the president. Other interesting names include Reps. Will Hurd (R-Texas) and Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.).
— Mike DeBonis (@mikedebonis) May 10, 2019
Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.) also voted “yes,” which might be something of a thump in the conversation since he’s married to Kellyanne Conway’s Chief of Staff.
It’s not clear exactly what finally threw Trump off the bill, but there’s a chance that he was unhappy about the Puerto Rico carve-out. The bill provides funding for the island’s recovery from Hurricane Maria, including about $600 million in nutrition assistance.
Trump has repeatedly said that he doesn’t want to send any more money to Puerto Rico. He often cites a $91 billion figure that he (falsely) says has been paid out to the island to help them recover from Maria.
He trotted that out recently too, telling a rally crowd in Florida that “Puerto Rico got $91 billion. I understand they don’t like me. It’s the most money we’ve given to anybody.”