Sep 6, 2017

Scoop: Senate leadership ponders combining Harvey, debt ceiling and government funding

Evan Vucci / AP

Senate Republican leadership is privately contemplating a bold maneuver: attaching the government funding bill (CR) to the debt ceiling and emergency funding aid for Hurricane Harvey.

Three sources with knowledge of the discussions confirmed them to Axios. They stressed nothing has been decided and the move would be highly risky, with a strong chance of a conservative revolt. It's especially unclear whether such a vehicle could move through the House — given the Freedom Caucus and other conservative members are already angry about the plans to use the Harvey funding to raise the debt ceiling without spending cuts.

The advantage: If GOP leadership can get the CR done this week with Harvey funding and the debt ceiling that would be a big tactical victory, given Democrats may be poised to oppose the government funding extension if it doesn't include measures to support DACA.

Per a source close to GOP Senate leadership: "Leadership is testing the waters in the Senate for adding the CR...Senate leaders will only add it if House leaders believe they can pass it. Problem is the CR is the vehicle for the Dems to demand a DACA fix and the Freedom Caucus to fight that and push for spending reductions. It is a bold idea but putting together the votes seems tough."

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