House Passes Nearly $8 Billion In Relief Funding For Harvey Victims

President Donald Trump says he's agreed to a "very good" deal to fund the government and increase the nation's borrowing limit for three months as part of an agreement to rush disaster aid to victims of storm Harvey. John Cornyn, the Republican Majority Whip, said he supports the plan as a way to immediately replenish needed funds for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Some House conservatives have been critical of tying the two measures to each other and voting on the debt ceiling without corresponding spending cuts.

The Senate could add a debt-ceiling increase to the bill once it arrives from the House.

"Given Republican difficulty in finding the votes for their plan, we believe this proposal offers a bipartisan path forward to ensure prompt delivery of Harvey aid as well as avoiding a default, while both sides work together to address government funding, Dreamers, and health care", House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said in a joint statement. The debt limit must be raised by September 29.

The plan appears to have the backing of Republican leaders, but rank-and-file members on Tuesday were less supportive.

"They want to play politics with the debt ceiling?"

Top Democrats have agreed to tie funding for Harvey relief to a bill for a short-term debt limit increase, which is also a much-needed measure for the US economy. Then the Senate would attach a debt ceiling increase or suspension.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has said the state may ultimately need more than the $120 billion that the US spent on Hurricane Katrina recovery. "I continue to be anxious about the debt, but I don't think this is the time to have that debate".

The $7.85 billion cash infusion still needs approval in the Senate, where GOP leaders are complicating the matter by saying they want to tie it to a controversial debt hike.

"To his credit, he went with the better arguments", he said.

This a big win for Democrats, as Trump's volatility has come back to bite Ryan and McConnell.

Democrats could still disrupt this month's legislative agenda in response to Trump's plan to eliminate a program that provides some protection from deportation for undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S.as children. "There will be many ongoing discussions in Congress about passing that relief package". Trump tweeted Tuesday morning as lawmakers returned to Washington from their August recess. "Today in Congress there are no Republicans and no Democrats".

And the clock is ticking on a Republican plan to overhaul the US tax code.

Although the budget doesn't technically need a floor vote this month, every week that goes by makes it harder to meet the goal of tax code changes by the end of the year.

"It's the party. It's the Republican brand", Representative Dave Brat of Virginia.

Both Amash and Massie also opposed approving aid for Hurricane Sandy in 2013, along with all but 49 of their fellow House Republicans.


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