Senate Republicans to Increase Debt Limit By Adding It to Hurricane Harvey Relief Bill

Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell
Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell / Getty Images
September 6, 2017

Senate Republicans have suggested they will increase the debt ceiling by adding it to an aid bill for Hurricane Harvey relief, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The relief bill will include $7.85 billion for emergency aid and is expected to pass Wednesday. There is concern, however, that the bill will meet problems when Republicans in the Senate plan to add a measure to raise the debt ceiling.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, if the government fails to increase the debt limit it may default on its debt. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said that Congress should raise it to make sure bills are paid on time.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) is suggesting that raising the debt ceiling and linking it to Harvey relief will echo President Trump's priorities of preventing a default and helping those in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, while preventing a government shutdown.

"They are my immediate priorities as well," said McConnell. "In the case of the debt limit, we need to act quickly given the new uncertainty from the large costs of storm recovery."

According to Sen. John Cornyn (R., Texas), the debt-ceiling measure is expected to be clean, which will mean that no efforts to cut spending will be included.