Did Dems Just Roll Trump? POTUS Agrees To Short-Term Debt Limit Hike

Vice President Mike Pence looks on as President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and other Congressional leaders in the Oval Office of the White House, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Evan Vucci/AP

Alice Ollstein contributed reporting.

During a meeting with congressional leaders at the White House on Wednesday, President Donald Trump backed a proposal from Democrats to tie aid for Hurricane Harvey to a three-month debt limit increase and a short-term government funding bill through December – much to the reported consternation of congressional Republicans.

“In the meeting, the President and Congressional leadership agreed to pass aid for Harvey, an extension of the debt limit, and a continuing resolution both to December 15, all together. Both sides have every intention of avoiding default in December and look forward to working together on the many issues before us,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), announced in a statement after meeting with Trump.

Speaking to reporters on Air Force One after the meeting, Trump confirmed that he reached a deal with congressional leaders on a package to raise the debt limit and fund the government through Dec. 15, tying that to an initial aid package for Hurricane Harvey.

Republican sources told the Washington Post and Politico’s Jake Sherman that Trump backed the Democrats’ plan despite opposition from Republican leaders present in the meeting.

The White House had been pushing for Congress to tie a long-term debt limit increase to legislation providing initial disaster relief funding for Hurricane Harvey.

Though Republican leaders reportedly did not support Democrats’ pitch to link Harvey aid to a three-month debt limit increase and government funding measure, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said Wednesday afternoon that he would support the plan. McConnell told reporters that Trump reached the deal with Schumer and Pelosi in the meeting with congressional leaders today.

Trump’s decision to side with the Democrats left conservatives fuming. Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) described the deal as fiscal malpractice, and the conservative Heritage Foundation blasted the proposal as “political cowardice.”

Earlier on Tuesday, after Democrats first proposed tying Harvey aid to a three-month debt limit increase, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) called their proposal “ridiculous and disgraceful” and accused Democrats of playing politics.

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