Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) on Thursday announced his plan to file an amendment to reject President Donald Trump’s deal with Democratic leaders that would provide funding for Hurricane Harvey relief and increase the debt ceiling on a short-term basis.
“Today, U.S. Senator Ben Sasse will file an amendment to reject the [Senate Minority Leader Chuck] Schumer fiscal deal and instead pass the same straightforward disaster relief package that passed the House of Representatives yesterday by a vote of 419-3,” Sasse’s news release read.
“Yesterday we saw Washington’s swamp continue to rise: Chuck Schumer wrote the art of the steal by taking hurricane relief hostage to guarantee a December showdown that favors Democratic spending priorities,” Sasse wrote. “Republicans should reject Schumer’s deal and instead pass the same clean aid package for Harvey victims that the House passed yesterday. My legislation would let Congress send a disaster relief bill to the President’s desk so we can help Americans in need right now and then get to work tackling the disorder in our fiscal house.”
Sasse posted the statement Thursday morning on Twitter, saying, “We should fund emergency hurricane relief. We shouldn’t spend other $ pretending it’s emergency hurricane relief.”
— Senator Ben Sasse (@SenSasse) September 7, 2017
Trump shocked Republican leaders on Wednesday when he endorsed a plan pushed by Democratic leaders Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that would pass disaster relief funding for Hurricane Harvey and also raise the debt ceiling for three months. The plan overruled the views of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who did not support the idea of caving for such a short-term debt ceiling hike in exchange for disaster relief aid.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) pushed back on the deal, accusing the Democrats of playing politics with people’s lives.
“I think that’s ridiculous and disgraceful that they want to play politics with the debt ceiling at this moment when we have fellow citizens in need to respond to these hurricanes so that we do not strand them,” he told reporters Wednesday.