Congress on Friday sent President Donald Trump a massive $ 15.3 billion disaster relief package tied to an increase in the nation’s borrowing authority that angered conservative Republicans who whistled and booed top government officials sent to the Capitol to defend it.
The House of Representatives voted 316-90 for the measure it would refill the depleted emergency accounts as Florida keys for the impact of Hurricane Irma and Texas collects the pieces after the devastation of Harvey’s storm. All 90 opposition votes were cast by Republicans, many of whom succumbed after Trump cut the disaster and debt deal with Democratic leaders without budget cuts.
“You can not continue to lend money. We’re going to have $ 22 trillion in debt,” said Rep. Jeff Duncan, Republican of South Carolina.
The aid measure is only the first part of public spending that could compete or exceed the $ 110 billion federal response following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, although future aid packages may be more difficult to pass. The legislation also funds the government until December 8.
In a pre-voting closed-door meeting, more than a dozen Republicans stood up and complained of Trump cutting off a deal with Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi instead of Republican Party leaders trying to meet the agenda of the president.
Budget chief Mick Mulvaney, a former South Carolina Tea Party congressman who took a hard line against debt increases during his tenure at the House and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin faced a tough time to plead by votes.
Mnuchin provoked whistles as he told the House Republican meeting “to vote for the debt ceiling for me,” said Rep. Mark Walker, a Republican from North Carolina.
The Republicans were in disbelief after Mr. Mnuchin argued that the debt ceiling should not be a political issue in the future, said Rep. Mark Sanford, Republican of South Carolina.
Republican Rep. Ryan Costello described a surreal scene with Mnuchin, a former Democratic donor, and Mulvaney, who almost certainly would have opposed the extent to which he was sent to throw, pushing Republicans to gather around legislation.
“It’s like” Where am I? What’s going on here? ‘”Mr. Costello said.” If it was not so serious, it would have been fun. ”
Mr. Mulvaney was booed when he approached the microphone, although lawmakers said he was in a good mood. He defended the deal and Mr. Trump.
“It was absolutely the right thing to do,” Mulvaney told reporters after the meeting. “The President is a results-oriented person, and now he wants to see results on Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, and tax reform. He saw an opportunity to work with Democrats on this particular issue at this particular time.”
But Mulvaney further upset Republicans when he did not promise spending cuts as part of a future debt limit vote.
Mr. Trump on Wednesday had cut back an agreement with Senator Schumer and Rep. Pelosi to increase the debt limit for three months, instead of the long-term focus preferred by Republican Party leaders who would have solved the issue though of the intermediate periods of the next year.
The conservatives disliked both options. The vote on the debt ceiling is politically toxic to Republicans, and the deal will get the Republican Party to vote twice before next year’s midterm elections.
Fiscal conservatives have clamored for deep cuts in spending in exchange for any increase in government borrowing authority. The storm relief measure had broad support, but the bond to the debt ceiling left many Republicans frustrated.
“We’re doing something for fiscal health? No,” said Tea Party representative Dave Brat, R-Va. “So Mick [Mulvaney] came today, the Treasury Secretary came today, and we said, ‘Do you have a plan for fiscal health in the future?’ No. Crickets. That’s frustration.
Democratic votes are invariably necessary to raise the debt ceiling and avoid a potential market quaking breach of government obligations and Mr. Schumer and Ms. Pelosi successfully pressed to waive debt until December 8. Democrats are wary of working with Mr. Trump, but keep hope for legislation on budgethappy wheels
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