Senate Votes in Favor of Trump’s Debt Deal with Democrats

The Senate on Thursday approved a short-term bill to fund the government and raise the debt ceiling despite disappointment among Republicans about the deal that President Donald Trump made with Democrats, The Hill reports.

Senators voted 80-17 on the agreement, which includes an extension of government funding and an increase in the federal borrowing limit through December 8. Those measures are paired with more than $15 billion in hurricane and disaster recovery aid.

Seventeen Republican senators voted against the deal, including Senatirs Lindsey Graham, John McCain and Rand Paul, as no Democrats voted against the measure. Republican Senator Ted Cruz, whose state was hit hard by Hurricane Harvey, supported the measure but stressed that he “would have much preferred a clean Harvey relief bill.”

The Republican Study Committee, the largest GOP caucus in the House with more than 150 members, came out against the deal on Thursday, calling it irresponsible. The caucus’s opposition means the deal might pass the House mainly with Democratic votes, which is an unusual dynamic with a Republican in the White House, The Hill comments.

Trump appeared to shock GOP leadership during a closed-door White House meeting Wednesday when he sided with Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on a three-month deal.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker Paul Ryan, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin were in the meeting and had pushed for longer debt-limit increase, according to a source familiar with the meeting.

However, Trump agreed to go with the Democratic push to do a three-month extension. The political U-turn came after Democrats offered a similar deal in the morning that didn’t include government funding, which Ryan had dismissed as “ridiculous.”

Trump administration officials touted the agreement as a move to help clear the decks and make room for tax reform, another key GOP agenda item that has been on hold.

GOP leaders had pointed to government funding, the debt ceiling and help for Harvey victims as their top three priorities for September. The deal cleared by Senate also includes a short-term extension of the National Flood Insurance Program, which was set to expire at the end of September.

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