US House votes for Hurricane Harvey relief package


A Democratic aide who was briefed on the meeting told The Washington Examiner that budget discussions between GOP and Democratic leadership came to a screeching halt when the first daughter dropped by like she's the wacky neighbor on a sitcom.

Republicans have always been anxious that Trump, who at times was a registered Democrat, would look to cut deals with the opposition party to secure victories - which he has had trouble achieving even with a Republican-led Congress.

The president threw his support behind the proposal during a meeting with congressional leaders at the White House on Wednesday, hours after House speaker Paul Ryan said it was both "ridiculous and disgraceful" for Democrats to suggest a short-term increase of the debt ceiling.

Donald Trump has ignored the objections of Republican leaders and sided with Democrats on a deal to fund the United States government and raise the debt limit for three months, in addition to providing emergency aid in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

The deal promises to speed a $7.9 billion Harvey aid bill, which passed the House Wednesday, to Trump's desk before disaster accounts run out later this week.

"We had a very good meeting", Trump said of his conversation earlier in the day with top Democratic and Republican leaders at the White House.

Senate GOP leaders indicated Tuesday they plan to attach an increase in the debt limit, a politically hard vote for many Republicans, to the popular Harvey aid.

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"Providing aid in the wake of Harvey and raising the debt ceiling are both important issues, and Democrats want to work to do both".

Political observers have long wondered whether the president-who has supported Democratic candidates in the past and has had a contentious relationship with his own party-might find a way to start making deals with the opposition.

"I think we need to move quickly and provide the relief that is needed, and the best way for that relief package to move quickly is for it to be a clean package not to be loaded down with extraneous issues, so that's what I hope we would do", Cruz said on Wednesday. Just three "no" votes were cast in the House while 419 members voted in favor of the package.

"Democrats are prepared to offer our votes for the Harvey aid package, and a short term debt limit increase of three months", the leaders' statement said.

The U.S. House voted Wednesday to fund nearly $8 billion for Hurricane Harvey relief, with full support from the Texas delegation. Ryan also said any immigration legislation the House would consider would have to have the support of Trump. After Pelosi and Schumer dismissed the six-month hike, Trump then agreed to the three-month increase that Democrats put on the table.

"We discussed that also today, and Chuck and Nancy would like to see something happen, and so do I", Trump told reporters.

Congress must raise the debt ceiling by the end of September to prevent the government from defaulting on its obligations. Ryan said. "That will strand the aid that we need to bring to the victims of these storms". But while the Democratic offer could make up for lost conservative votes, it would mean revisiting the debt-ceiling debate in just three months, an option some lawmakers want to avoid.