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Senate Kills Senator Sasse's Attempt For Clean Harvey Bill

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) delivered a very similar statement on the Senate floor Tuesday.

Some lawmakers had said this week that they anxious - especially with Hurricane Irma already causing problems in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands - that more than the $7.4 billion House-passed package was going to be needed - and that was heard first thing Thursday morning on the floor of the Senate.

Senate negotiators, eyeing urgent requests from Florida officials who are expecting heavy damage from Hurricane Irma, have almost doubled that sum, cobbling together a $15.2 billion emergency spending bill.

The 80-17 Senate vote came after the House of Representatives on Wednesday approved roughly $8 billion in disaster relief.

With the federal government's funding expiring October 1, the Treasury Department had urged Congress to raise the debt limit before the end of this month. "It is imperative that we get that supplemental passed".

President Donald Trump went around his own party Wednesday, siding with Democrats on a deal to fund the government and raise federal borrowing limits for three months - all to help speed cash to hurricane survivors.

President Trump has not explicitly endorsed the plan, but Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Sunday that both he and the president think that the debt limit should be tied to Harvey funding.

In his remarks, McConnell did not directly address the issue of tying the debt ceiling to the disaster relief bill, something many conservatives oppose because they oppose increasing the debt ceiling unless under certain conditions and don't want to appear insensitive to hurricane victims by voting against emergency funds.

"We have to deal with Harvey, we have the debt ceiling", Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., the No. 2 House Republican, said today on the Fox Business Network.

"If we're going to keep momentum going and allow the economy to truly take off as it should, it is vital that we reduce crushing tax burden on our companies and on our workers", Trump said as McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan and others gathered with him for the meeting. "I think that's ridiculous and disgraceful that they want to play politics with the debt ceiling". John Cornyn said he is "open" to adding an increase in the debt ceiling to a bill to provide immediate emergency aid to hurricane-ravaged Texas and Louisiana that is expected to move through the House and Senate this week.

Despite the conservative outrage, leaders were pressing forward with the plan as a way to sweeten the perennially unpopular debt limit vote.

"I'll do anything to try to stop that", he said. The administration is announcing that Trump will end protections for young immigrants who were brought into the country illegally as children, but with a six-month delay meant to give Congress time to address the issue.



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