March 21 2018

House To Vote This Week On First Package Of Harvey Aid

March 21 2018, 10:03 | Frederick Owens

Plane Travels Through Bands of Irma on Last Flight out of PR

Plane Travels Through Bands of Irma on Last Flight out of Puerto Rico

"Tax reform that follows these principles will create millions of new jobs and ensure that more products are stamped with the very handsome letters and words, 'Made in the U.S.A'".

He noted Sen. Roy Blunt ("a really great friend"), Rep. Vicky Hartzler ("terrific"), Rep. Billy Long ("my friend for a long time") and Rep. Ann Wagner ("good job, Ann").

"I'm not surprised that the White House is trying to use the Harvey relief package to get a debt ceiling increase through", said Romina Boccia, deputy director for economic policy at the Heritage Foundation.

Congress should take that to heart, because Trump won't. The President recently threatened to hold up the funding bill if it doesn't include an allocation for the border wall and it remains to be seen if he would follow through on that threat.

That skepticism proved accurate and now with a jam packed September agenda, it seems inevitable that Congress' consideration of tax reform will have to wait even longer.

Did I mention that the Senate only has 16 days of legislative work remaining on this month's schedule?

That in turn could challenge Trump, whose main goal for the fall is a promised tax reform bill. "For months, Secretary (Steven) Mnuchin advocated for a clean debt ceiling". Mnuchin has said the debt limit must be raised by September 29 in order to avoid a market-shaking default. In 1996, the ceiling was $5.5 trillion. But the most pressing may be: Can the marriage between President Trump and congressional Republicans be saved?

Swift action on Harvey will give Congress and Trump the chance to look competent and remind voters that government can be a positive force.

"They want the debt ceiling done no matter how it gets done, and I think they support this approach", Meadows told reporters. These questions could be answered when House and Senate tax committee leaders release their detailed framework later this month. "America's not going to default".

Hurricane Irma Lashes Through the Caribbean Threatens South Florida
Irma Lashes Through Caribbean Florida Prepares Gerben Van Es AFP Getty Images

Lawmakers are to vote on aid for victims of Hurricane Harvey, which has driven more than 1 million people from their homes in Texas and Louisiana. Before the end of the month, Congress will have to pass a spending bill to keep the government's lights on, raise the debt ceiling, reauthorize the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and approve at least one disaster-relief package.

In this debate, you're likely to hear the term "continuing resolution", or CR.

But not so fast.

Trump hasn't tweeted about tax reform amidst Hurricane Harvey's devastation and North Korea's nuclear tests, but White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders indicated that the president supported the idea of keeping the government opened over fighting for spending cuts.

I think selling bonds for a trillion-dollar infrastructure fix is a great idea with the price of money being so low today. And while lawmakers agree it should be reauthorized, many believe it needs reform. Relations between president Donald Trump and Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell are so poor that Trump has taken to harassing him on Twitter, while McConnell reportedly tunes out (paywall) during phone calls as Trump chatters about current events. "It's time for pro-growth tax policies that work for the people". "And if she doesn't do it for you, you have to vote her out of office".

"It is vital that we reduce the crushing tax burden on our companies and on our workers", Trump said, reading from remarks about tax reform at the top of the meeting.

"No second thoughts", the president said.

If was the first time the two men had spoken since an angry phone call where Trump reportedly complained about the Russian Federation investigation, following McConnell's comments to his constituents that Trump was still learning about the pace of the Democratic process.

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