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House passes $7.9 billion Harvey aid package

A pile of debris outside a business damaged by floodwaters in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Spring, Texas, September 5, 2017 (AP)

The House overwhelmingly passed a $7.9 billion funding package to aid Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts Wednesday, per CNN.

  • The bill is now off to the Senate, where lawmakers are expected to attach a measure to raise the debt ceiling. They will then vote on the package and send it back to the House for a final vote, which is expected by the end of the week.
  • The bulk of funding, $7.4 billion, will go to the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Disaster Relief Fund, which FEMA has said is rapidly running out of resources.
  • The other $450 million will go to the Small Business Administration's disaster loan program.
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Trump: Transgender people "disqualified" from the military

SecDef Jim Mattis and Gen. Joseph Dunford.
Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and Gen. Joseph Dunford. Photo: Andrew Harrer-Pool / Getty Images

President Trump late Friday issued an order disqualifying most transgender people from serving in the military.

"[T]ransgender persons with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria -- individuals who the policies state may require substantial medical treatment, including medications and surgery -- are disqualified from military service except under certain limited circumstances."

Why it matters: Anything short of an inclusive policy for transgender troops will be viewed as a continuation of the ban Trump announced on Twitter in August.

Haley Britzky 9 hours ago
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Both Bush and Obama also requested line item veto power

Donald Trump.
Photo: Mark Wilson / Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Friday evening that to avoid having "this omnibus situation from ever happening again," he wants Congress to re-instate "a line-item veto."

Why it matters: This would allow him to veto specific parts of a bill without getting rid of the entire thing. Trump was deeply unhappy with the $1.3 trillion spending bill approved by Congress early Friday morning, but signed it anyway on Friday afternoon.