Politics

Hurricane Harvey Could Fit Into A Secret Plan To Raise The Debt Ceiling

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Robert Donachie Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter
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Hurricane Harvey has inadvertently provided Congress with an opportunity to raise the debt ceiling, Axios reports.

Republican leadership in the House is reportedly planning to pass a “clean” bill that would provide $7.85 billion for emergency relief efforts, which would satisfy both the president’s demands for funding and for a bill that has no extraneous measures attached. Once the bill makes its way to the Senate, leadership is planning to attach a debt limit increase before sending it back to the House. (RELATED: Here’s The Real Reason Trump Is Angry With McConnell)

The administration announced in late August that it wants lawmakers to pass a “clean” debt ceiling increase, meaning a piece of legislation that raises the debt limit with no additional measures attached.

Leadership faces a few major tests in the coming weeks, and raising the debt limit is only one. Republicans in Congress must also figure out a way to keep the government funded past Sept. 30 and are angling to push a tax reform bill through both chambers and onto the president’s desk by December.

Congress has no choice but to pass a spending bill before or on Sept. 30 to fund the U.S. government. If Congress fails to pass said bill before Oct. 1, portions of the government will be forced to shut down and all non-essential government employees will forgo payment until an agreement is met. If lawmakers pass a continuing resolution, which is the current plan, they will not have to make a decision till some agreed upon future date. During that period, spending levels would remain unchanged.

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