House approves billions in hurricane aid, government funding deal

The House passed a sweeping package today that includes billions of dollars for hurricane recovery efforts, raises the debt limit and funds the government through December despite objections from conservatives opposed to the bipartisan deal forged by President Donald Trump and top Democrats.

The measure, which now needs the president’s signature, adds more than $15 billion to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s coffers to aid the recovery efforts in areas impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy scheduled the vote before noon to give members time to return home ahead of Hurricane Irma.

Top Republicans had pushed for a longer-term extension of the debt ceiling. Rank-and-file conservatives called for spending cuts or policy changes tied to the debt limit hike.

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“Personally, I think the debt limit, and the credit markets — the longer, the better — for the stability of the credit markets. That’s my strong opinion,” House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., said Thursday.

He added that Trump “was interested in making sure that this is a bipartisan moment while we respond to these hurricanes, and he made that clear.”

The Senate cleared the package Thursday afternoon in a 80-to-17 vote, with only Republicans opposing the bill.

The additional funds will also be available for recovery efforts in areas that may be impacted by Hurricane Irma.

The package also sets up another fiscal showdown over government funding and the debt limit in December.