House plans Wednesday vote on Harvey aid

Share

FEMA's Disaster Relief Fund had about $3.5 billion when the Harvey hit, and is now down to about $1 billion. Such a combined measure would then have to be sent back to the House for approval. Republicans and President Trump wants to force the government to operate more efficiently and far less costly.

But other controversial executive actions on topics such as immigration could still disrupt bipartisan agreements. The postponement in the formal dismantling of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program would be meant to give Congress time to address the issue. And if the budget isn't passed, government could shut down. They'll also have to negotiate with Democrats who strongly oppose their biggest priorities.

That strategy, however, is likely to draw strong opposition from conservative Republicans, who were instrumental in sinking the Obamacare repeal effort.

After eight months of legislative dysfunction and gridlock, Hurricane Harvey appears to have brought Republicans and Democrats together around the most basic of congressional duties: aiding Americans whose lives and homes have been wrecked by a natural disaster and keeping the government open.

The initiative includes the United States President Donald Trump administration's request for $5.9 billion toward the Federal Emergency Management Agency's disaster fund, which is employed to reimburse individuals for things like short-term rental disbursements following disasters, and to fork out endowments to affected government institutions and certain nonprofit organizations.

September 30: The government runs out of money.

Questions abound as lawmakers return to Washington from their August recess with a full plate of must-pass bills and numerous campaign promises that remain to be fulfilled. The Trump administration has requested an initial $7.85 billion in aid, which it has described as a downpayment.

It's unclear whether Republican lawmakers will go along with the idea of pairing the two measures.

The House and Senate are expected to vote quickly on the first $7.9 billion aid installment to help with immediate recovery and rebuilding needs in Houston and beyond.

"As we have stated for months, the debt ceiling should be paired with significant fiscal and structural reforms", Walker said. Ryan said Congress might pass a temporary spending bill to push the deadline to December, to give lawmakers time to fight for priorities and work out details.

In some ways, the most urgent challenge will be preventing the government from defaulting on its obligations.

Grading the Vols in their 42-41 OT win vs. Georgia Tech
No. 17 Florida is sticking with quarterback Feleipe Franks despite a lackluster performance in the season opener. He then noted, correctly, that his offense hogged the ball for 41 minutes and 27 seconds to Tennessee's 18:33.

If the debt ceiling isn't raised soon, the USA government will only have enough cash to continue funding its operations through September 29, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has told lawmakers. The debate over the wall, and how to pay for it, will nearly certainly be delayed, as Congress wrestles, instead, with contentious must-pass measures to fund the federal government and raise the statutory borrowing limit. Failure to increase the debt limit could cause the government to miss payments to bondholders and result in a default on government debt.

Conservative Republicans may balk at the lack of spending cuts accompanying the debt-ceiling increase.

"I know that securing this emergency funding is very important for the president", McConnell said.

The roughly 40 Freedom Caucus members would not necessarily have the power to block the legislation.

"I don't see that developing in the proposals that are under discussion", he said. Chuck Schumer of NY, the Democratic leader, issued a joint statement calling for "bipartisan consensus" on hurricane aid and the debt limit.

"There's a good chance that Harvey makes all that a little easier", Yarmuth said.

Republicans sought to reduce taxes on higher earners in their House and Senate bills to replace the Affordable Care Act, contentious legislation that stalled in the Senate when Republicans failed to muster a majority to pass the bill. Trump had said he did not want to hamper rescue efforts.

And the clock is ticking on a Republican plan to overhaul the US tax code. A Senate vote will follow.

"It's the party. It's the Republican brand", said Rep. Dave Brat, R-Virginia.

Lawmakers were already calling for presidential guidance on the issue, although leaders and aides said that, given the six-month time frame, they did not expect to turn to it immediately.

Share