Trump reaches deal with Democrats to raise debt ceiling, provide hurricane relief

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he would add the new provisions to the House bill passed Wednesday that grants $7.85 billion in hurricane relief.
By Dan Taylor | Sep 08, 2017
In a surprise move, President Trump agreed Wednesday with congressional Democrats to attach measures raising the nation's debt ceiling and funding the government through mid-December to a House bill providing aid to communities devastated by Hurricane Harvey.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he would add the new provisions to the House bill passed Wednesday that grants $7.85 billion in hurricane relief.

"The president agreed with Senator Schumer and Congresswoman Pelosi to do a three-month [funding extension] and a debt ceiling into December, and that's what I'll be offering, based on the president's decision, to the bill," McConnell said, as reported by The Washington Post. "The president can speak for himself, but his feeling was that we needed to come together to not create a picture of divisiveness at a time of genuine national crisis. And that was the rationale."

Congressional Republicans were caught off-guard by the president's deal with Democrats, perhaps none more so than House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin who, just more than an hour prior to the accord, had dismissed the idea of tying fiscal deadlines to aid for Hurricane Harvey victims.

"I think it's ridiculous and disgraceful that they want to play politics with the debt ceiling at this moment when we have fellow citizens in need, to respond to these hurricanes so we do not strand them," Ryan said.

By postponing the debate about debt limit, Democrats believe they are in a better position to persuade Republicans to stabilize funding for healthcare markets and pass legislation that would protect the Dreamers undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children from being deported.

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