BREAKING: House Passes Harvey Relief Bill

REUTERS/Gary McWilliams

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Jack Crowe Political Reporter
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The House passed a bill Wednesday allocating $7.85 billion for Hurricane Harvey relief funding with near unanimous support.

The bill, which passed 419-3, now moves to the Senate, where GOP leadership plans to link it to a separate effort to raise the debt ceiling. The GOP hopes to have the bill on President Donald Trump’s desk by Friday.

The vote comes hours after Democratic leadership offered to support the Harvey relief bill under the condition that a three-month debt increase is attached to the legislation.

Reports indicating that GOP leadership plans to attach a debt ceiling increase to the Harvey relief bill have been met with criticism from freedom caucus members and Texas lawmakers, who argue that the Harvey relief bill is being used as leverage intended to coerce lawmakers to approve a clean debt increase, absent from the spending cuts on which conservatives have insisted.

The White House has reportedly moved to counter conservative opposition, telling lawmakers that voting against a clean debt ceiling increase could potentially imperil the disaster relief funds, leaving FEMA unable to process victims’ claims.

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