President Trump signs $15.3 billion Harvey aid package

Congress returns to speed up Harvey aid tackle debt limit

Congress returns to speed up Harvey aid tackle debt limit

The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed the Senate's version of a bill to raise the country's debt ceiling for three months, fund the government and provide 15.3-billion-dollar storm relief for victims of Hurricane Harvey.

The lower chamber approved the measure in a 316-90 vote.

Paul's office noted that the United States Agency for International Development's (USAID) latest information shows that roughly $20 billion in unobligated foreign aid is now available, which the senator believes would be better spent on domestic emergencies. "Historically, the (short-term government funding) and debt ceiling have proven to be the only effective leverage for meaningful spending reform, and I believe we should continue to use them as tools to reduce our long-term debt".

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, praised the relief money that will go to his state to help people recovering from Hurricane Harvey, but told reporters on Thursday that it was a "mistake" to include it alongside the debt limit and government funding agreement.

Conservatives in the House have balked at the scope of the Trump-brokered deal, which attached two, crucial fiscal measures, calling it a win for Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Republican leaders had sought a debt limit increase for as long as 18 months.

Speaking to reporters at the White House on Thursday, Trump said "there are a lot of good reasons" to make such a move. The House passed the Harvey agreement on Wednesday.

Trump says Americans want more bipartisanship. "For many years people have been talking about getting rid of debt ceiling altogether and there are a lot of good reasons to do that". "I think what the leaders, you just described, proposed is unworkable, and it could put in jeopardy the kind of hurricane response we need to have".

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