The Latest: GOP Congressman Lauds Trump For Debt-Limit Deal
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump, Congress, hurricane relief and debt limit (all times local):
A House Republican House says he has no problem with President Donald Trump making a deal with Democratic leaders of Congress to arrange a short-term extension of the debt limit.
Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole calls Trump's move in an Oval Office meeting Wednesday "in some sense a declaration of independence by the president."
"I was sort of thrilled," Cole told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program Thursday. He says the arrangement Trump worked out with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is "good for the country. ... We don't need to run out of money in a week or 10 days in the middle of a natural disaster."
Cole tells MSNBC: "There's all kinds of implications of what he did yesterday, but count me as saying I believe there's more of an upside than a downside."
The Senate is nearly doubling the initial Harvey aid package.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's midnight move added $7.4 billion in community development block grant funds to a House-passed $7.9 billion measure providing an emergency replenishment for disaster aid coffers.
The additional Senate money is to jump-start rebuilding efforts. The block grant money is more flexible and can cover costs the Federal Emergency Management Agency can't. A vote could come as early as Thursday.
The House passed the Harvey aid package on Wednesday by an overwhelming vote. President Donald Trump agreed to link it to an increase through Dec. 8 in the government's so-called debt limit, as well as a stopgap government-wide funding bill.
President Donald Trump briskly overruled congressional Republicans and his own treasury secretary to cut a deal with Democrats to keep the government operating and raise America's debt limit. The immediate goal was ensuring money for hurricane relief, but in the process the president brazenly rolled his own party's leaders.
In deal-making mode, Trump sided Wednesday with the Democratic leaders — "Chuck and Nancy," as he amiably referred later to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi — as they pushed for the three-month deal. The deal had the effect of brushing aside the urgings of GOP leaders and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin for a much longer extension to the debt limit. Republicans want that longer allowance to avoid having to take another vote on the politically toxic issue before the 2018 congressional elections.
The White House session painted a vivid portrait of discord at the highest ranks of the Republican Party.
Associated Press reporter Andrew Taylor contributed to this story.