Trump agrees to Democrat deal on spending and Harvey aid

From BBC - September 6, 2017

Donald Trump has agreed to a Democratic plan to lift the debt limit for three months, fund the government and rush aid to Hurricane Harvey victims.

The US president went against Republican leaders who wanted to extend a debt-limit increase for longer, until after the 2018 mid-term elections.

Democrats announced the deal just before the House of Representatives passed $8bn (6bn) for Harvey victims.

Congress will need to approve the deal before it is finalised.

Mr Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One he had a "very good meeting" with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

"We had a very good meeting, we essentially came to a deal and I think the deal will be very good," he said while travelling to North Dakota for an event on tax reform on Wednesday.

"We agreed to a three-month extension on debt ceiling, which they consider to be sacred, very important."

The proposal attaches the disaster aid to a government funding bill that would raise the US debt limit and keep the government running through 15 December, setting up a fiscal showdown at the end of the year that Republicans had hoped to avoid.

"Both sides have every intention of avoiding default in December and look forward to working together on the many issues before us," Mrs Pelosi and Mr Schumer said in a joint statement.

Leaders from both parties met Mr Trump at the White House on Wednesday morning.

Following the meeting, Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan called the Democratic proposal "unworkable" and "ridiculous", putting the president at odds with his own party.

A free agent president - Anthony Zurcher, BBC News, Washington

Donald Trump has gone rogue. When it was time to choose between Democrats and Republicans in Congress and within his own administration, the president tilted left.

Republicans in the Senate had hoped to tie hurricane relief to a lengthy extension of the debt limit, taking away a key bit of Democratic leverage until after the 2018 midterm elections. House Republican hardliners, who welcomed a looming budget crisis, did not want any debt measures in the bill at all.


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