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Congress returns with agenda upended by Harvey

Congress returns with agenda upended by Harvey”

"I'm told that if we don't raise the debt ceiling, then we can't appropriate the additional funds for Harvey on an emergency basis, which we absolutely need to do", he said.

Harvey makes landfall in Washington this week, when President Trump is expected to ask for what could be tens of billions of dollars in storm relief.

Congress must raise the debt ceiling by the end of September to prevent the government from defaulting on its obligations. Multiple Congressional committees as well as the FBI are investigating Russia's meddling in the last election and suspicions of the Trump campaign's collusion in it.

As the fall session officially opens Tuesday afternoon, the need to support hundreds of thousands on the Texas and Louisiana coastal plain could create the conditions for an exceptional show of harmony on Capitol Hill.

"As we have stated for months, the debt ceiling should be paired with significant fiscal and structural reforms", Walker said in a statement.

Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona said permanent legislation to fix the immigration system had been Congress' prerogative all along, and that lawmakers should and could act quickly. Investors have been shunning Treasury bills that come due in early October, just in case there's no solution by the September 29 deadline that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has deemed "critical" for Congress to act.

In the Senate, though, leaders are expected to attach the plan to the debt ceiling increase.

Conservatives in the past have opposed measures to allow the government to borrow more and may object if the debt limit is combined with other legislation. That reduction would not produce a savings for taxpayers since the expectation was that the money would go toward buying President Trump's border wall - the wall that Mexico, no matter what Trump claims, will never pay for.

Walker said lawmakers can be "both compassionate and fiscally responsible".

In addition to the tasks Congress must do, McConnell also made a pitch for the big issue GOP lawmakers want to do in the remainder of the year: overhaul the US tax code to lower rates for businesses and individuals.

While Trump adjusts to the Kelly era, other senior officials have followed senior congressional leaders and even USA foes like North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in showing that they are not cowed by the President.

Congressional Republicans are also returning from their August recess still reeling from the embarrassing fallout of their health care ambitions.

Attending the meeting were Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady. The overwhelming need and support for securing emergency funding for victims of Hurricane Harvey could provide Congress with the blank check it needs to avoid a government shutdown and take care of its other outstanding business.

"I'm hopeful that the president has come to see that one-sided governing led by extremists is a recipe for failure", said Josh Gottheimer, Democrat-New Jersey, co-chairman of the Problem Solvers Caucus that includes 43 House members from both parties frustrated by inaction.

Credit rating agencies like S&P and Moody's have concurred, saying the debt ceiling will ultimately be hiked, even if they have warned of the consequences for failing to do so.

When Hurricane Harvey ripped into the Texas/Louisiana Gulf coast last month, causing untold devastation and upending millions of lives, it also poured a heavy dose of reality onto President Donald Trump's political agenda. But it can only issue debt up to a limit set by Congress, and Treasury is bumping up against that debt limit now.

"We're grateful that in Texas the floodwaters continue to recede", he said on Fox News. "Harvey was handled well, tax reform is back on track, the debt ceiling showdown will be pushed to a later date and while there are no good choices in North Korea, the president's national security team is second to none". "I continue to be anxious about the debt, but I don't think this is the time to have that debate".



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