Trump Sides With Democrats on Debt Ceiling, Short-Term Funding

WASHINGTON (CN) – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters on Wednesday he will support a deal between congressional Democrats and President Donald Trump on a short-term package to raise the debt ceiling and fund the government.

The deal Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Trump struck during a meeting at the White House Wednesday would raise the debt limit and fund the government for three months. It will be attached to a $7.9 billion disaster aid bill for Hurricane Harvey victims the House of Representatives passed earlier in the day.

“In the meeting, the president and congressional leadership agreed to pass aid for Harvey, an extension of the debt limit and a continuing resolution both to Dec. 15, all together,” Schumer and Pelosi said in a joint statement Wednesday. “Both sides have every intention of avoiding default in December and look forward to working together on the many issues before us.”

It is still unclear whether Republicans will support the move, especially conservatives who have opposed a short-term increase of the debt limit. On Wednesday, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., called the idea of a short-term debt ceiling increase “ridiculous.”

McConnell did not say whether his party would be fully behind the plan in the Senate.

“In the meeting down at the White House, as I indicated, the president agreed with Sen. Schumer and Congresswoman Pelosi to do a 3-month CR and a debt ceiling into December,” McConnell told reporters on Wednesday, using the abbreviation for a short-term government funding package. “And that’s what I will be offering, based on the president’s decision, to the bill. And then we’ll try to get 60 votes and move forward.”

McConnell said the agreement makes sense, as Congress is facing an end-of-month deadline to raise the debt limit and funding the government, coupled with the need for Harvey relief as another hurricane targets the United States.

“If this isn’t the definition of an emergency, I don’t know what is,” McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said.


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