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Republicans are planning to attach a provision to raise the debt ceiling to their initial Hurricane Harvey relief package, a move that could limit resistance to the effort to increase caps on government borrowing.
Sen. John Cornyn told reporters on Tuesday that the $7.85 billion aid package to help refill FEMA’s coffers – set to be taken up by the House on Wednesday – would likely have a debt-ceiling increase added when it makes it to the Senate.
If the combined bill passes the Senate, it would be sent back to the House for consideration.
A GOP aide told Business Insider that the plan was likely to be finalized among the leadership Tuesday and would likely pass the Senate.
“I presume they will move forward with this plan, and it will pass, despite some squabbling and bickering by a few members,” the aide said.
Despite the top-line support, there could be some pushback from members on either side of the aisle.
Conservative Republicans may balk at the lack of spending cuts accompanying the debt-ceiling increase. Rep. Mark Meadows, chair of the House Freedom Caucus, already came out against combining the two elements.
Additionally, some GOP senators including Rand Paul and Ted Cruz have already spoken out against the idea.
Despite the objections from the right wing of the party, President Donald Trump is expected to support the measure, according to reports. A tweet or official announcement is expected some time over the next 24 hours.
The move was previously supported by members of the administration when Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Fox News Sunday that the debt-ceiling provision should be attached since any Harvey relief money will drain the limited cash balance of the Treasury and bring forward the date of a debt-limit breach.
It would mean that the measure would need support by Democrats, who could balk at being asked to carry the load on a bill without getting anything in return and after facing resistance on debt ceiling increases from Republicans for years under President Barack Obama.
A senior Democratic aide told Business Insider that Democratic lawmakers would need to see the details of any plan before agreeing to support it. Details such as the level of the debt-ceiling increase and when the limit would likely be hit again would be the key.
“Likely to depend on length of time and GOP plans for the rest of the to do list for September,” the aide said. “Does the debt ceiling increase they propose make it more or less likely that we get bipartisan deals on the things we need to get done this fall, or not.”
According to Bloomberg, the package is likely to include a suspension of the debt limit. This would tie it to a date, rather than a capped amount of money.