Senate negotiators, eyeing urgent requests from Florida officials who are expecting heavy damage from Hurricane Irma, have almost doubled that sum, cobbling together a $15.2 billion emergency spending bill.
All 17 lawmakers who voted against the deal were Republicans and included prominent senators like Sen.
Some Republicans, particularly in the House, object to the inclusion of the debt-level hike and additional spending, first recommended by President Donald Trump in an agreement this week with congressional Democratic leaders.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) speaks at the Capitol after President Trump overruled congressional Republicans and his own treasury secretary and cut a deal with Democrats to fund the government and raise the federal borrowing limit for three months. While the deal avoids a government shutdown at the end of the month, it sets up another fight over spending and the US national debt in December.
How Hurricane Irma could impact Trump's luxury properties in Florida
However, an untold number of residents declined to leave; many said they had faced and survived similar storms many times before. Trump tweeted.Saturday evening, Irma was 100 miles southeast of Key West, with sustained winds of 125 mph.
"The recovery effort for a record-setting storm like Harvey has strained resources to the limit already", said GOP Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
"As the waters recede and folks return to their communities, Texans are still trying to take stock of the damage left by Harvey", said Texas U.S. Rep. John Cornyn, the second-ranking Republican in the Senate.
Both measures failed by wide margins on Thursday, allowing the Senate to vote on the full package, sending it back to the House of Representatives. Congress periodically raises the debt ceiling, but it has in recent years become a political football for unrelated and often contentious issues. Republicans would have preferred a longer debt ceiling extension to avoid giving added leverage to Democrats negotiating in December. "I would have much preferred a clean Harvey relief bill-which would have passed both Houses almost unanimously". "We even discussed it at the meeting we had yesterday".
"I don't know, but you're going to have trouble getting people to agree to having the debt limit just automatically raised", McCain told reporters on Thursday.