President Donald Trump’s big deal with Democrats has sailed through Congress.
On Friday morning, the House of Representatives approved the measure — which provides hurricane aid money, and also raises the debt ceiling and funds the government through early December — by a vote of 316 to 90.
The Senate had already passed the measure on Thursday, by a vote to 80-17, so the bill will now head to Trump’s desk for his signature.
All of the “no” votes came from Republicans. In both the House and the Senate, every Democrat present voted for the deal.
Trump’s quick agreement to this deal Wednesday, despite objections from House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, surprised much of Washington by short-circuiting what was expected to be a grueling, month-long battle over these measures.
In broad strokes, the outcome — funding of the government, lifting of the debt ceiling, and appropriation of more hurricane aid money for FEMA — was inevitable. These were all viewed as must-pass measures for Congress.
Yet there were expected to be some hold-ups as various factions held out for certain other specific things they wanted:
- Trump had previously suggested he might demand money for his border wall along with government funding.
- Congressional conservatives have for many years sought to attach spending cuts to any debt limit hike or government funding bill.
- And Ryan and McConnell wanted to extend the debt limit through the 2018 elections, so they could dispense with an issue that divides their party and often eats up precious days on the legislative calendar.
But none of them ended up getting what they wanted. Trump decided that with two major hurricanes to deal with, now was not a good time to pick a fight over border wall money. And due to his recent tensions with Ryan and McConnell, he was unwilling to hold out for their priority of a longer-term debt limit hike.
Instead, Trump quickly agreed to the offer that Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi put on the table Wednesday — hurricane money tied to a three-month government funding measure and debt ceiling increase. This means there will be another debt ceiling and government funding fight in a few months. For the time being, though, Congress can move on to other matters.