President Trump received some uncharacteristic praise from Democratic leadership Wednesday after agreeing to a deal to fund Hurricane Harvey aid, a three month debt ceiling increase, and a three month Continuing Resolution to keep the government funded.
Pressed repeatedly, a White House spokesperson declined to comment on whether GOP leaders were "visibly annoyed" by Ivanka Trump's presence in the GOP meeting.
The GOP-led Senate had been considering a deal that would've tied Harvey relief to raising the debt ceiling for more than a year.
Speaking to reporters on Air Force One, Trump said he had a "very good meeting" with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of NY and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California. "I think (three-months is) a reasonable thing to do and then we'll come back and maybe as a large appropriations deal and a larger budget deal then we'll do with the debt ceiling over a longer period of time".
The House plans to take up the Harvey aid package on Wednesday, though some conservatives have said they will resist combining it with a debt ceiling increase.
Even with the three-month extension of the debt limit, a Senate Republican aide told reporters that nothing in the tentative deal would stop the Treasury Department from using its powers to extend the deadline, depending on revenue flow.
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Earlier Wednesday, the House of Representatives approved almost $8 billion in Hurricane Harvey relief funds Wednesday in an overwhelming bipartisan vote, the first of several expected installments to aid recovery in areas devastated by the massive storm.
House Republicans are expected to pass a supplemental appropriation giving the Federal Emergency Management Agency $7.4 billion to respond to Harvey, and $450 million to the Small Business Administration for its disaster loans program. How did the relatively powerless Schumer and Pelosi get everything they wanted in a negotiation with a man whose party controls the House, the Senate and the White House? The president has governed like a conservative Republican on issues from healthcare to Supreme Court nominations, and hasn't been able to find common ground with Democrats even on issues such as infrastructure fix, which many thought would prove the most fertile bipartisan soil.
Trump in recent weeks has been clearly and publicly frustrated with Republican leaders, notably McConnell. We think we made a very reasonable and strong argument.
The agreement includes bundling relief for Hurricane Harvey with a three-month continuing resolution that would keep the government funded through December 15, in addition to a three-month fix to raise the debt limit to be passed this week. Democrats turned down the idea and pitched the three-month debt-limit increase. Pelosi and Schumer dismissed 6-month hike.
Republican Mark Meadows of North Carolina, chairman of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, said Trump "wasn't left with a lot of good options".
Since the Republican Primary, the GOP has mostly backed their nominee, Donald Trump. The discussion arrived at a standstill, the source said, until Trump unexpectedly agreed with Democrats on the need for a three-month extension.
Trump also seemed keen to work with Democrats on that issue, telling reporters: "We discussed that also today, and Chuck and Nancy would like to see something happen, and so do I".