Trump Sides With Democrats on Interim Debt-Limit Fix, Harvey Aid

Sep 07, 2017, 00:45
Trump Sides With Democrats on Interim Debt-Limit Fix, Harvey Aid

The plan would extend the USA debt limit and provide funds to keep the government running through December 15, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of NY and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California said in a joint statement.

The president has governed like a conservative Republican on issues from healthcare to Supreme Court nominations, and hasn't been able to find common ground with Democrats even on issues such as infrastructure fix, which many thought would prove the most fertile bipartisan soil.

The deal includes Democratic support in the Senate for the first instalment of disaster relief aid for Hurricane Harvey victims in Houston, where flooding has devastated the Texan city.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin had also reportedly urged Mr Trump to pursue a longer-term debt-limit deal but has insisted that raising the borrowing limit was imperative in order to quickly send aid to Texas.

"I think it's bad policy that ultimately leaves the taxpayer holding the bag", South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford told reporters after the HFC meeting Tuesday night.

The agreement was reached Wednesday at a White House meeting with a bipartisan group of congressional lawmakers.

Even though Republicans control the White House and both chambers of Congress, they have been unable to pass any major legislation since Trump took office in January, most notably failing to approve a promised dismantling of the Obamacare healthcare law.

"I'd like to see something where we have good border security and we have a great DACA transaction where everybody is happy and now they don't have to worry about it anymore", Trump said, referring to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, who has been critical of Trump at times, expressed his disappointed with the deal in a succinct statement following the announcement.

Bipartisan New York lawmakers supported the funding, despite holding some grudges against certain Texas Republicans for holding up funding to New York and New Jersey for relief from 2012's deadly Hurricane Sandy.

Earlier in the day, Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan had called the Democratic proposal for a three-month increase "a ridiculous idea" that would "play politics with the debt ceiling".

"Based on the president's decision. we'll try to get 60 votes and move forward", McConnell said.

Trump, after meeting with congressional leaders Wednesday at the White House, told reporters on Air Force One that the deal with Democrats would be "very good".

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Wednesday that he will incorporate the debt limit and government funding extensions into the upper chamber's Harvey assistance package and that the measure likely will pass by the end of the week. The measure includes $7.4 billion in added funds for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help storm victims and $450 million for the Small Business Administration to help firms hurt by the hurricane. "I think Congress really wants to do this", Trump said.

Additionally, other GOP aides were incensed with the deal.

The survey found that, overall, 43 percent of voters in the United States say Trump is doing enough, while 40 percent say they believe he is not.

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