Trump bucks GOP leadership, backs Democratic deal on debt ceiling, funding government

House prepares for Harvey relief vote
US stocks rise as big tech and financials climb higher
Author

07 September, 2017

The president delivered a resounding victory to congressional Democrats Wednesday - and embarrassed stunned Republican leaders - when he agreed on a plan to raise the debt ceiling, provide aid to storm-ravaged Texas and keep the federal government running through December 15.

"That's what I will be offering, based on the president's decision, to the (House of Representatives) bill".

He added: "We had a very good meeting, we essentially came to a deal and I think the deal will be very good".

The U.S. House voted Wednesday to fund nearly $8 billion for Hurricane Harvey relief, with full support from the Texas delegation.

"His feeling was that we needed to come together, to not create a picture of divisiveness at a time of genuine national crisis", McConnell said.

The package would set up a tough vote for many Republicans, who want to back relief for Harvey victims but do not want to vote on legislation that raises the debt ceiling or a funding bill that but does nothing to restrict future government spending.

"We agreed to a three-month extension on debt ceiling, which they consider to be sacred - very important - always we'll agree on debt ceiling automatically because of the importance of it", the president said.

The remarkable turn of events left Republican congressional leaders, in control of both chambers of the legislative branch, "shell-shocked" and "visibly annoyed", and showcased how a President who also authored "The Art of the Deal" actually cuts one.

In a joint statement after the meeting, Pelosi and Schumer signaled that Trump agreed to punt everything to December.

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Mr Trump's deal with the Democrats means that the Republican-controlled Congress will have to address partisan issues such as healthcare and immigration later in the year while negotiating with Democrats over a debt vote.

The deal, reached Wednesday at a White House meeting between congressional leaders from both parties and Trump, would attach both measures to a House bill aiding communities hit by Hurricane Harvey.

This statement came after Trump met with Schumer, Pelosi and Republican leadership in the Oval Office of the White House earlier in the day.

"Republican leaders pushed for [an] 18-month debt limit hike, then floated 6 months".

"I think that'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 that we do not strand them", Ryan told reporters.

With a 419 to 3 vote, the relief marks just the first step in a long recovery process for Louisiana and Texas.

The agreement comes as Congress, which reconvened this week following the August recess, faces a series of pressing fiscal deadlines.

The White House requested $7.85 billion for emergency Harvey aid and called for Congress to raise the debt ceiling immediately. The U.S. Senate will take up funding soon, and that body could tie the Harvey funding to other larger issues, like raising the debt ceiling and continuing to fund the government past the September 30 end of the fiscal year.

And another source briefed on the meeting told NPR's Susan Davis that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had also advocated for a longer debt ceiling hike.


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