Image Credits: Reuters

On Wednesday, Trump shocked the nation by cutting a deal with Democrat leaders, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, in a closed door White House meeting to fund the government and raise the debt ceiling for the next three months. For the first time in his presidency, Trump crossed the political aisle to secure this deal. It also provides funding for Hurricane Harvey relief. Here is what you need to know.

President Trump met with Schumer, Pelosi, Paul Ryan, Kevin McCarthy, Mitch McConnell, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to discuss the deal. While Republican leaders Ryan, McCarthy, McConnell, and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin pushed to longer the debt-ceiling increase, the President ultimately sided with Schumer and Pelosi. Following the deal, Schumer announced that “it was a really good moment of some bipartisanship and getting things done, no one standing in their corner.” In a press conference, McConnell told reporters that “The president agreed with Senator Schumer and Congresswoman Pelosi to do a three-month [funding extension] and a debt ceiling into December, and that’s what I will be offering, based on the president’s decision, to the bill. The president can speak for himself, but his feeling was that we needed to come together to not create a picture of divisiveness at a time of genuine national crisis.” Ryan, however, did not share these same feelings. He criticized Schumer and Pelosi of “playing politics” for the idea of a short-term debt hike when the nation faces crisis from the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and the upcoming destruction of Hurricane Irma.

Following up on his statement, McConnell introduced a piece of legislation that would extend current spending levels and the federal borrowing limit until December 8th. The legislation would also increase disaster funding from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma to $15.25 billion. This bill, though controversial among Senate Republicans, passed 80-17, with no Democrat opposing the bill. Senator Ted Cruz voted for the bill, although he would have preferred “a clean Harvey relief bill” like the one passed by the House on Wednesday. Members of the GOP support aid for disaster relief. They disapprove of raising the debt ceiling or funding the government without reforms.

Now, the package passed the House and has been sent to Trump to sign. 

Despite the bill’s controversy among Republicans, this bill addresses their top three priorities for this month: government funding, debt ceiling, and help for Harvey victims. Both Mnuchin and Trump are pleased with the deal. The bill will allow Congress until December to put off their fight over fiscal matters. In the meantime, please continue to pray for those affected by these hurricanes.

Katya P
Katya Pledger is a high school student who is thankful to be an American and is passionate about the Constitution, conservatism, and capitalism.

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