House passes Hurricane Harvey relief aid

House passes Hurricane Harvey relief aid

House passes Hurricane Harvey relief aid

The House of Representatives passed a Hurricane Harvey relief-funding bill nearly unanimously on Wednesday, drawing broad support from members on both sides of the aisle.

"The federal government needs to provide disaster relief for situations like this, and as Hurricane Irma moves closer to the United States, it's important that Congress signals that we will support relief from these devastating natural disasters", Stefanik, R-Willsboro, said.

Democrats are offering to support the Senate bill as long as the debt ceiling increase is only for three months. Tying the controversial debt limit bill to the Harvey relief package could make it easier to swallow for some lawmakers and further ensure its passage. "I think that's ridiculous and disgraceful that they want to play politics with the debt ceiling", Ryan told a news conference. Officials also signaled that President Donald Trump won't press his demands to fund a wall on the U.S. -Mexico border this month, a measure opposed by Democrats.

"I'm told if we don't raise the debt ceiling, then we can't appropriate the additional funds for Harvey on an emergency basis, which we absolutely need to do", he added.

The Trump White House warned that in order to ensure that Texas receives the necessary funds, the Congress needs to tackle one more thing: the USA debt limit.

"We've got all this devastation in Texas, a hurricane in Florida, and they want to play politics with the debt ceiling?"

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is considering linking the Harvey aid to a measure to raise the debt ceiling, or the federal government's borrowing limit, that would run through the 2018 midterm elections, aides said.

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Some conservatives are also expecting a continuing resolution, also known as the CR, to temporarily extend current levels of government spending to be added to the Harvey aid package as well. As of Thursday, there was just $2.1 billion left in FEMA's Disaster Relief Fund. "If we resort to just kicking the can down the road on the debt, it only shows that Republicans do not take the problem of our $20 trillion debt seriously".

"They ought to be separate bills", said Arlington Rep. Joe Barton, a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, on Tuesday.

Some conservative GOP lawmakers in the House have suggested spending cuts elsewhere to offset the new outlay of money to FEMA.

The Senate is expected to attach the money to a debt-limit vote later this week.

The House is nevertheless expected to easily pass the Harvey aid bill on the initial vote.

"I understand the reality and I'm not going to be intractable on recognizing leadership's realities", Franks said of this month's urgent bills. That puts the onus back on House Republicans, many of whom oppose raising the debt limit. Republicans also want to tackle tax reform. His Senate counterpart, Dick Durbin, said he was "open to it" but that it depended on the length of the debt limit increase.

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