The House on Wednesday approved $7.85 billion in Hurricane Harvey disaster relief, setting up a controversial legislative maneuver in which the bill is expected to be paired in the Senate with legislation raising the debt ceiling.
The Harvey aid was easily cleared in an overwhelming vote, with only three Republicans initially voting against it, but the margin could be closer if lawmakers are asked to vote again for a package that combines Harvey aid with the debt ceiling bill.
The package would set up a tough vote for many House Republicans, who want to back relief for Harvey but do not want to vote on legislation that raises the debt ceiling, but does nothing to restrict future government spending.
The White House backs merging debt relief and Harvey aid, a position first articulated by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on “Fox News Sunday.” He said the costs for disaster relief may push up the deadline for the debt ceiling — a situation that could become more urgent if the category five Hurricane Irma hits the Florida coast.
Source: The Hill