House Freedom Caucus Chair: Don’t Link Harvey Aid To Raising Debt Limit

Tom Williams/CQPHO

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), the leader of the hardline conservative House Freedom Caucus, on Thursday warned Republican leaders that attaching aid for Hurricane Harvey relief to an increase in the federal debt limit would be a “terrible idea.”

“The Harvey relief would pass on its own, and to use that as a vehicle to get people to vote for a debt ceiling is not appropriate,” Meadows told the Washington Post.

He said connecting the two would be “conflating two very different issues.”

“That sends all the wrong message: ‘Let’s go ahead and increase the debt ceiling, and by the way, while we’re doing it let’s go ahead and spend another $15, $20 billion dollars?’” Meadows said. “That’s not to undercut the importance of Harvey relief. We’re going to fund Harvey relief without a doubt, but I think it just sends the wrong message when you start attaching it to the debt ceiling.”

The Associated Press reported on Thursday that Congress could vote on Harvey relief as soon as next week.

Meadows said on ABC News’ “Powerhouse Politics” podcast published Tuesday that he would back an emergency spending package for relief if it did not become “a vehicle for special spending.”

“As long as we keep the emergency relief really to support the people in need,” he said, “I think you’ll find plenty of conservative support, and certainly my support.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.

LIKE US ON FACEBOOK