House Passes Disaster Aid Package with Debt Ceiling Increase

WASHINGTON (CN) – The House of Representatives on Friday overwhelmingly passed a $15 billion package that provides disaster relief for areas recovering from Hurricane Harvey, along with a short-term agreement to fund the government and lift the debt ceiling.

The package passed the Senate on Thursday, a day after President Donald Trump, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., struck a deal to combine the three pieces of legislation. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced later that day that he would support the agreement.

Congress was up against an end-of-month deadline to fund the government and lift the debt limit or face the prospect of a government shutdown and the possibility of the United States defaulting on its debt. The bill passed on Friday both raises the debt ceiling and funds the government for three months, setting up another budget showdown at the end of Congress’ year in December.

Conservatives opposed attaching the Harvey aid to the fiscal measures, with Nebraska Sen. Ben Sasse on Wednesday calling the deal between Trump, Schumer and Pelosi “bad.” Seventeen Republicans voted against the measure in the Senate after failing in two attempts to send the measure back to committees.

The House faced similar Republican protest on Friday, but was still able to pass the bill by a 316-90 vote.

Among the no votes was Rep. Joe Barton, a Texas Republican who announced before the vote that he did not plan on supporting the measure.

%d bloggers like this: