By Robert Donachie, DCNF
Republicans senators were the only ones to vote against a measure to advance a bill that would provide emergency relief funding to the victims of Hurricane Harvey and temporarily raise the debt ceiling and fund the government through mid-December.
The 17 senators include: Sens. Bob Corker of Tennessee, Deb Fischer of Nebraska, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Jerry Moran of Kansas, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Steve Daines of Montana, Jeff Flake of Arizona, James Lankford of Oklahoma, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Michael Enzi of Wyoming, Lindsay Graham of South Carolina, Mike Lee of Utah, James Risch of Idaho, Joni Ernst of Iowa, Chuck Grassley of Iowa, John McCain of Arizona and Ben Sasse of Nebraska.
Lawmakers voted 80-17 in favor of sending the bill back to the House for renegotiations Thursday. The Senate’s vote comes off the heels of the measure passed in the House Wednesday, which allocated $7.85 billion for Hurricane Harvey relief funding with near-unanimous support.
The large emergency funding package, linked to the debt ceiling and government spending, could be the result of a contentious deal struck in the Oval Office Wednesday afternoon. Instead of aligning with members of his own party and administration, Trump agreed to raise the debt limit and fund the federal government through mid-December, allowing members of Congress to deal with the federal budget in the coming months.
The president could sign the bill Friday, which would allow Congress to reconvene on the debt ceiling and funding the government Dec. 8.