Schumer Triumphant, Others Critical After Short-Term Debt Ceiling Deal

September 6, 2017

A jubilant Sen. Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) announced Wednesday that Democratic leaders in Congress reached a deal with President Donald Trump and their Republican counterparts to pass a short-term debt ceiling extension and government funding measure.

The package will forestall a government shutdown for three months and include disaster relief funds for Hurricane Harvey victims.

Earlier in the day, Trump crossed party lines and accepted Democrats' demands to raise the debt limit and fund the government for the next three months. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wisc.) opposed the measure, wanting to raise the debt ceiling through late 2018. Ryan argued that Democrats were playing politics by tying Harvey relief to the debt ceiling vote. Still, Trump approved the short-term deal over their objections.

Schumer, the Senate minority leader, held a press conference alongside Democratic Sens. Dick Durbin (Ill.), Patty Murray (Wash.), and Debbie Stabenow (Mich.) to announce the deal.

"Earlier today, we had a very productive meeting with President Trump, Leader McConnell, Speaker Ryan," Schumer said. "In that meeting, we agreed to pass aid for Harvey, a continuing resolution, and an increase in the debt ceiling, both of those until December 15th."

"This is a really positive step forward. It will work to quickly provide aid to those hurt by Harvey. It will avoid default, and it will fund the government, avoiding a shutdown," he said.

"And we all agreed we'd work together in December as well to avoid a default. So, it was a really good moment of some bipartisanship," he said.

While Schumer and his fellow Democrats were pleased, others were less so. Many Republicans felt Trump caved too early in negotiations, and should have sought a longer extension, past December and into 2018. Sen. Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) blasted the deal.

"The Pelosi-Schumer-Trump deal is bad," he wrote on Twitter.

Others, like Senate Republican Conference chairman John Thune (N.D.), also expressed concerns about the deal.

"I think our members would probably want to see something that goes significantly longer than that," he told Politico.