Second attempt at passing the Disaster Aid Bill fails at the House

(From the United States House of Representatives )

A bill provision that may help get funding for Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) Medicaid patients has been voted down for the second time on the US Congress floor.

A release from CNMI congressman Gregorio Sablan said, “Republicans in the U.S. House today again blocked passage of a Disaster Aid Bill, even though President Trump has said he will sign the measure. The bill, H.R. 2157, makes over $19 billion available to help communities across America recover from natural disasters, including the Northern Mariana Islands,” Sablan said.

He added; “The U.S. Senate passed the bill last Thursday on a strong bipartisan vote of 85 to 8. But on Friday in the House Republicans withheld agreement. A second attempt in the House today also failed, when Republican Congressman Thomas Massie of Kentucky objected to a unanimous consent agreement.”

After the Senate approved the Disaster Aid Bill last week, the legislation was not able to reach a final vote after a legislator made an objection to hold the vote.

The bill has a provision that would increase Guam’s Federal Medical Assistance Percentage from 55 to 100 percent, removing the local match requirement for Guam to pull from ACA funds. Texas representative Chip Roy, performed a procedural objection, citing his concerns about passing a bill that would spread “$19 billion of taxpayer money” without a majority of Congress present.

Roy’s second concern was that the bill would do nothing to contribute to the “emergency and humanitarian crisis we have at our southern border.”

Governor Lou Leon Guerrero continues to share her disappointment but remains optimistic that Congress will pass the measure and indicates that a letter regarding this will be sent to Congressman Michael San Nicolas urging him to seek support on the bill.

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Jolene Toves
Jolene joined the PNC team in 2017, as a producer, co-anchor and investigative reporter covering law enforcement, courts and crimes. Notable coverage includes the Ehlert case, the Mark Torre Jr. trial, the Allan Agababa trial, exclusive pieces on the Life of a Drug Dealer/Addict, and Life behind bars...the story of Honofre Chargualaf and Kevin Cruz. In 2019, she was promoted to Assistant News Director and Lead Anchor. From 2015 to 2017 she served as Public Relations and Promotions Manager, for the Hotel Nikko Guam handling local radio and advertorial promotions, as well as produced and directed tv commercials for the hotel. Prior to this she worked with KUAM for three years as a reporter and segment host. She began her journalism career in 2012, working with Glimpses of Guam contributing to the Guam Business Magazine, R&R magazine, MDM magazine and the Marianas Business Journal.