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Senate OKs Trump’s Harvey aid deal

by Evan Wilt
Posted 9/07/17, 04:44 pm

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Senate approved a contentious legislative bundle Thursday combining Hurricane Harvey relief dollars with a short-term extension of government funding and the debt limit. Senators voted 80-17 to approve the measure, sending it to the House for consideration. All no votes came from Republicans. Lawmakers attached $15.25 billion in emergency storm relief to the act. The House passed a clean Harvey bill Wednesday with $7.4 billion slotted for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and $450 million for the Small Business Authority disaster loan program. But late Wednesday, President Donald Trump agreed to a deal proposed by Democratic leaders to combine the relief dollars with an extension to government spending and the borrowing limit until Dec. 8. Late Wednesday night, the Senate Appropriations Committee released an updated bill with an additional $7.4 billion for the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Several Republicans criticized the combined effort, claiming it gives Democrats too much negotiating power at the end of the year. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, voted for the bill but added he “would have much preferred a clean Harvey relief bill.” Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., spoke on the Senate floor to bash the deal between Trump and Democratic leaders: “This is an embarrassing moment for a Republican-controlled Congress and a Republican administration.”

See “Harvey Relief” for information on organizations assisting victims affected by the storm.

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Evan Wilt

Evan is a World Journalism Institute graduate and a former WORLD reporter.

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