Bipartisan Senate Bill Doubles Hurricane Recovery Funding

Saturday, 09 Sep, 2017

President Donald Trump appeared to bury the prospect of an Obamacare repeal and replace plan on Friday morning in a series of tweets directed at congressional Republicans.

At the time, health care reform legislation passed the House but never passed the Senate.

During a White House meeting on Wednesday involving Trump, Pelosi, Schumer, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the president and the Democratic leaders agreed to pursue legislation to end the need for regular debt ceiling increases, people familiar with the meeting said. Ben Sasse (R-NE) to decouple the debt limit increase and the temporary budget from the Harvey aid.

In the course of a relatively brief negotiating session at the White House, Trump largely sided with Democratic leaders as they pushed for the three-month deal. However, the future of the bill is less certain in the House, which a day earlier overwhelmingly approved another measure that only appropriated funding for Harvey relief.

The deal raises the debt limit and funds the government through 8 December.

Conservatives weren't the only group of Republicans opposed. "Kicking the fiscal can down the road another three months is not a solution to our budget problems". All 90 "no" votes were cast by Republicans.

"Disaster assistance should be considered on its own -- not to advance another agenda", Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and one of the few Texans against the bill, said in a statement.

He said Mr Trump chose a short-term deal to keep his options open on possibly raising military funding later this year, suggesting a longer-term government funding deal might have blocked that.

But Hurricane Harvey and Trump's decision to rescind a program protecting some 800,000 immigrants from deportation have saddled Congress with new challenges.

The U.S. Senate passed the measure Thursday in an 80-17 vote, with both Sens.

White House budget director Mick Mulvaney, a former tea-party congressman from SC, took a hard line against debt increases during his years in the House. Chuck Schumer of NY say a three-month increase in the debt limit would help ensure that Congress would tackle health care, immigration and looming budget cuts.

Pelosi said she makes "no apology" for working across the aisle with a president disdained in her home state of California, arguing that the president now understands Democrats are committed to compromise, "but also to stand our ground".