House to vote on almost $8B in Hurricane Harvey relief

The Latest: House plans Wednesday vote on Harvey aid

That could result in more defections from GOP lawmakers, many of whom support helping Harvey victims but don't want to raise the debt limit without any spending reforms. An additional $450 million would help finance disaster loans to small businesses through the Small Business Association.

The first installment in Harvey aid is to handle the immediate emergency needs and replenish Federal Emergency Management Agency reserves in advance of Hurricane Irma, which is barreling through the Caribbean toward Florida. "The leaders made the decision to attach the debt limit to that, and I support that decision". He pointed to statements from the administration in recent days arguing that the influx of FEMA disaster relief money might run short without a debt-ceiling increase.

Harvey aide, the debt limit, and government funding bill are just three of the items Congress must address this fall in a jam-packed schedule.

In the Senate, GOP leaders want to link a long-term increase in the debt limit - until 2019 - to the Harvey aid, but that plan faces opposition from conservatives and thus will need Democratic votes.

The plan appears to have the backing of Republican leaders, but rank-and-file members on Tuesday were less supportive.

Rep. Mark Walker, a North Carolina Republican and chairman of the conservative House Republican Study Committee, said members were surprised by the idea to attach the aid to the debt ceiling.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said again Wednesday that increased Harvey costs show the importance of acting swiftly to increase the government's debt cap to make sure there's enough borrowed cash to pay out the surge in disaster aid. It's not immediately clear when the Senate will take up the bill, but it is expected to sometime this week. It would then go back to the House and ideally be on President Donald Trump's desk by the end of the weekend. "We have all this devastation in Texas; we've got another unprecedented hurricane about to hit Florida, and they want to play politics with the debt ceiling?"

"I understand the reality and I'm not going to be intractable on recognizing leadership's realities", Franks said of this month's urgent bills.

"There's a good chance that Harvey makes all that a little easier", Yarmuth said.

Democrats also have not signed off on the plan, in part because Ryan and McConnell have not yet committed to how long the debt-limit increase would last. "Given the interplay between all the issues Congress must tackle in September, Democrats and Republicans must discuss all the issues together".

And the clock is ticking on a Republican plan to overhaul the USA tax code.

Both Amash and Massie also opposed approving aid for Hurricane Sandy in 2013, along with all but 49 of their fellow House Republicans.

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