Economy

Siding with Democrats, President Trump agrees to 3-month debt-limit rise

Siding with Democrats, President Trump agrees to 3-month debt-limit rise”

US President Donald Trump and Democratic congressional leaders announced a mutual agreement to raise the debt ceiling and fund the federal government until December, including nearly $8 billion in aid for those people affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Democratic votes are needed to raise the debt limit in order to avoid default, and Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi offered Republican lawmakers and Trump their votes at the meeting. "Both sides have every intention of avoiding default in December and look forward to working together on the many issues before us", Schumer and Pelosi said in a statement.

"The Pelosi-Schumer-Trump deal is bad", Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska said in a statement.

"That will include debt ceiling, that will include (short-term spending for the coming fiscal year) and it will include Harvey, the amount of money to be determined", Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One.

The survey found that, overall, 43 percent of voters in the United States say Trump is doing enough, while 40 percent say they believe he is not. As Mnuchin continued to press an economic argument in favor of a longer-term deal, Trump exhausted of it and cut him off mid-sentence.

The No. 2 Senate Republican, John Cornyn of Texas, told reporters that Mr. McConnell had made a decision to attach the debt limit increase to the Harvey measure.

The agreement includes bundling relief for Hurricane Harvey with a three-month continuing resolution that would keep the government funded through December 15, in addition to a three-month fix to raise the debt limit to be passed this week.

A source briefed on the meeting said the top Hill Republicans - McConnell and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy - and Trump's own Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, echoed Ryan's concerns about such a debt limit and warned against problems caused by a shorter-term solution. "We essentially came to deal, and I think the deal will be very good". He wouldn't say if he was surprised by the deal, but said Trump's "rationale" was the "feeling that we need to come together". After Pelosi and Schumer dismissed the six-month hike, Trump then agreed to the three-month increase that Democrats put on the table.

Top White House officials and GOP leaders had spent the past few days urging Republicans to raise the debt ceiling through the 2018 midterm election.

A Republican congressman described Trump's decision to back just a three-month extension of the debt ceiling, as opposed to an 18-month extension as some GOP leaders had hoped, as "kind of comical". The aide also said Ivanka Trump dropped into the meeting to "say hello", and Republican leaders were visibly annoyed by her presence.

Asked earlier Wednesday if he could support the Democrats' three-month extension proposal, Trump said "we'll see". When it was time to choose between Democrats and Republicans in Congress and within his own administration, the president tilted left.

He also accused the Democrats of attempting to "play politics with the debt ceiling". Democrats have been calling for a standalone vote on legislation, known as the Dream Act, which would provide young immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children with a path to permanent residency. 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. Always we'll agree on debt ceiling, automatically because of the importance of it,"Trump said".

McConnell, Ryan and Mnuchin pushed during the meeting for a longer-term debt-limit deal, according to several people with knowledge of the discussion.



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