Senate approves deal to lift debt ceiling 3 months, $15.25 billion for hurricane relief

GALVESTON, TX - AUGUST 26: A resident looks over a street flooded by rain from Hurricane Harvey on August 26, 2017 in Galveston, Texas. Harvey, which made landfall north of Corpus Christi late last night, is expected to dump upwards to 40 inches of rain in Texas over the next couple of days. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON– The Senate approved Thursday a package of bills that paired emergency funding for hurricane relief with measures that would raise the debt ceiling and keep the government open for three months.

The vote was 80-17. All 17 nos were Republicans.

The legislation now goes to the House, which could vote as early as Thursday night.

President Donald Trump, in a surprising move, signed onto the package Wednesday, siding with Democrats who proposed bundling the bills together but only with a three-month extension for the debt ceiling. Republican leaders had sought a debt limit increase for as long as 18 months.

All told, the package includes about $22 billion for FEMA’s disaster relief fund, $15.25 billion of which is new, emergency funds, while another $6.7 billion was already slated to be in the spending measure that funds the government.

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