GOP Leaders Cave as Trump, Democrats Reach Deal on Debt Ceiling, Hurricane Package and Govt. Funding
Republican congressional leaders surrendered to Democrats this morning. They agreed to Democrats’ demand that Hurricane Harvey aid package, debt limit extension and government funding continuing resolution be packaged together and passed as a single bill.
President Trump also sided with the Democrats against his own party’s wishes.
Trump met with Senate and House minority leaders Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), as well as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) this morning at the White House.
Both sides came out of the meeting signaling their intention to work together to avoid a government shutdown.
An obviously elated Sen. Schumer and Congresswoman Pelosi said in a statement after the meeting that both sides have every intention of avoiding default.
“In the meeting, the President and Congressional leadership agreed to pass aid for Harvey, an extension of the debt limit, and a continuing resolution both to December 15, all together. Both sides have every intention of avoiding default in December and look forward to working together on the many issues before us,” Schumer and Pelosi said in their joint statement.
Schumer and Pelosi had indicated that this would be the ideal outcome moments before they went into the meeting. President Trump brushed aside the wishes of his own GOP leadership by caving to Democrats’ wishes.
Moments before the meeting House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) derided the idea of raising the debt ceiling for three months, calling the idea “ridiculous and disgraceful.”
“We’ve got all this devastation in Texas. We’ve got another unprecedented hurricane about to hit Florida. And they want to play politics with the debt ceiling?” Ryan told a gathering of reporters.
“That will strand the aid that we need to bring to the victims of these storms that have occurred or are about to occur,” Ryan added.
But it was obvious from Ryan’s facial expression coming out of the White House meeting that he and Senate leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) didn’t get their way.
Earlier Treasure Secretary Steme Mnuchin said the Trump administration would prefer to have the debt ceiling hike tied to Hurricane relief aid package, a proposal staunchly opposed by many conservatives inside and outside the beltway.
Ryan and McConnell told Trump and Democrat leaders they wanted an 18-month debt ceiling hike but that was quickly shot down by Democrats. They then suggested a 6-month hike that was dismissed as well. Trump then jumped in and agreed to Democrats demands for a three-month extension.
Schumer and Pelosi also said they brought up the issue of DACA and told Trump they will not rest until that is resolved and the fate of undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children is settled.
“As Democratic leaders, we also made it clear that we strongly believe the DREAM Act must come to the floor and pass as soon as possible and we will not rest until we get this done,” they said.
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