House overwhelmingly passes $7.9 billion Harvey aid package

Congress returns Tuesday: DACA, Harvey relief on agenda

Almost two weeks after Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas, the U.S. House is scheduled to vote on a nearly $8 billion disaster relief package for those affected by the storm and the consequent flooding.

But Ryan bristled at a call by House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer to attach only a three-month increase in the debt ceiling, and not the longer-term increase GOP leaders want.

While Democrats and Republicans came together for a moment, both parties argued over the duration of the increase of the country's borrowing limit.

After a White House meeting between President Donald Trump and congressional leaders from both parties, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi announced that they had reached a deal to tie the Harvey aid to short-term measures to fund the government and raise the debt ceiling through December 15.

The bill prepared by the House Appropriations Committee matches the full $7.85 billion White House request, which includes $7.4 billion for FEMA's Disaster Relief Fund and $450 million to to support the Small Business Administration's disaster loan program.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY want to retain Democratic influence and trying to ensure the Republican-controlled Congress addresses health care and immigration as the hectic fall agenda kicks off.

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

Republican leaders for now are bowing to the demands of their most conservative members and won't combine legislation raising the USA debt ceiling with Harvey aid, a House Republican aide said Monday.

Members of Congress are also preparing to potentially make relief funds available for any damage caused by Hurricane Irma as the storm continues to approach Florida.

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"The president and I believe that it should be tied to the Harvey funding", Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said while speaking to Fox News on Sunday.

Leaders said they were especially confident that they initial bill would pass the House.

In the Senate, though, leaders are expected to attach the plan to the debt ceiling increase.

Ryan called the Democrat's idea a "ridiculous idea" and that they "want to play politics with the debt ceiling".

The version passed by the House on Wednesday, though, did not contain the debt provision.

President Donald Trump pauses during a meeting with Congressional.

"Our leadership is looking at different options and discussing them with the Senate so we just had a discussion about what some of those options are", Brady added.

Senior Texas U.S. Sen. "If the Republican Party can't pass health care, can't pass tax reform, can't be fiscally responsible what are we?" The bill gives debt service, military pay, Social Security, and Medicare payments priority over other spending as revenues are collected.

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