GOP Rep. Mark Walker of North Carolina said Tuesday afternoon that the Senate Hurricane Harvey relief bill will include provisions to raise the debt ceiling and keep the government funded.
Walker said that the inclusion of a debt ceiling increase and continuing resolution was likely the product of a “backroom deal” struck between Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, during an interview on Fox News.
“We’re just hearing that part of the Hurricane Harvey relief package, as it comes out of the Senate, will include, or have tied to it, raising the debt ceiling as well as a continuing resolution,” Walker told Fox News. “For many of us arrived today, coming from our different homes throughout the country, this is a little unsettling and even more frustrating.”
The House is scheduled to vote Wednesday on a bill that will allocate almost $8 billion in disaster relief funding to help offset the tremendous burden born by FEMA in the wake of the category 4 hurricane and resulting floods. (RELATED: House Sets Date For Vote On Harvey Relief)
Conservative lawmakers, led by Meadows, have expressed concern that the relief bill would be used to force through a debt increase absent the spending cuts that conservatives insist on. The timing of Harvey’s landfall made the scenario plausible as Congress faces a Sept. 30 deadline to raise the debt ceiling and fund the government through a continuing resolution.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy insisted the House will not imperil the bill’s passage by attaching a contentious debt ceiling increase Wednesday morning during an interview on Fox News. McCarthy did not address the possibility that GOP leadership might attach a debt ceiling increase in the less conservative Senate in an effort to pass the clean debt increase that the conservative wing of the party opposes.
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