House passes almost $8 billion in Hurricane Harvey relief

Casey Dawson
September 7, 2017

The House is expected to pass the first installment Wednesday of emergency funding for the recovery effort following Hurricane Harvey, which will be immediately sent to the Senate.

Lawmakers are feeling the pressure to provide extra funds for victims of Hurricane Harvey.

The Senate could add a debt-ceiling increase to the bill once it arrives from the House.

The move is likely to irritate fiscal conservatives who oppose increasing the debt limit and want budgetary reforms and spending restrictions in exchange for voting to increase it. 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. The Senate is due to hold its own vote in coming days. In addition to supporting the recovery efforts in Texas, the agency is preparing for Hurricane Irma, another powerful storm that is approaching Puerto Rico and threatens to have a devastating impact on Florida.

Mnuchin said on Fox News Sunday that if Congress appropriates the money, there must be enough available to cover the Harvey aid.

The Senate has until September 29 to raise the debt ceiling and until September 30 to fund the government in the new fiscal year, which McCarthy said would likely be a bill to extend federal funding for another three months.

That could also lose Democratic support, according to Axios, because they favor attaching to the must-pass bill a measure to protect immigrants living in the United States under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a program the Trump's administration announced Tuesday that it was winding down.

"These are the president's immediate priorities: Pass disaster relief".

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Odinga says the opposition will ask that electoral officials be prosecuted and says he has lost faith in the current commission. Worldwide election observers, including former Secretary of State John Kerry , had said they saw no interference with the vote.

Capitol Hill's top Democrats say they're willing to pair a short-term increase in the government's borrowing cap with the Harvey aid bill.

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky have hard tasks ahead as they contend with warring factions in their own party and a president who won't hesitate to criticize them.

Mark Meadows, head of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, issued a similar warning last week.

Back in 2011, these same Republicans fought for deep cuts to spending to be attached to any hike in the debt limit.

"This takes 60 votes in the Senate", Ryan said.

So we have got to make sure that we have the authority, the legal authority to go out and be able to put money back into FEMA, so we can respond to these hurricanes.

John Yarmuth of Kentucky, the highest ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee, said Harvey's devastation has sapped both parties' appetite for a showdown over must-pass bills like the debt limit. That will strand the aid that we need to bring to the victims of these storms that have occurred or are about to occur and then also want to threaten default on our debt.

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