The Senate on September 7 passed a Hurricane Harvey relief aid package by an 80-to-17 vote that serves as the legislative vehicle for continuing federal government funding past the end of the month. The short-term funding legislation will provide government agencies, including the IRS, funding at currently enacted levels for three months, from the start of the 2018 fiscal year, which begins October 1, through December 8. The package now heads back to the House for a likely vote on September 9. President Trump is expected to sign the measure.
The Senate’s vote came the day after congressional leaders and the White House struck a deal to include in the Harvey relief bill a continuing resolution to maintain government funding past September 30 (TAXDAY, 2017/09/07, C.1). President Trump agreed to Democratic leadership’s three-month extension proposal, going against Republican leadership’s wishes for a longer extension. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., on September 7 expressed his disagreement with short-term extensions in general, such as the three-month proposal at hand, but noted the president’s wishes to come together in a bipartisan moment.
“Yesterday’s agreement was a ray of hope for both parties coming together on the big issues,” Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., said on the Senate floor. Schumer called the three-month agreement a compromise and praised Trump’s bipartisanship, giving him credit and thanks for his understanding of the importance of compromise. “This agreement is a reminder we don’t always have to wait for the eleventh hour risking shutdown and default,” Schumer said.
By Jessica Jeane, Wolters Kluwer News Staff
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