Trump Signs Funding Measure to Avert Shutdown

President Donald Trump signs the Hurricane Harvey Funding Bill. President Donald Trump signs the Hurricane Harvey Funding Bill. Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks

This article has been updated.

President Trump on Friday signed legislation staving off a government shutdown and default until early December and appropriating $15.25 billion for hurricane relief efforts.

The House passed the bill earlier Friday.

The plan, formulated by congressional Democrats as a counterproposal to GOP efforts to keep agencies open until December and extend the debt limit until after the 2018 midterm elections, will extend the government’s borrowing authority and funding at current levels until Dec. 8.

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Trump endorsed the deal Wednesday after a meeting with congressional leaders, to the surprise of GOP lawmakers. Although some conservative senators opposed tying the debt limit increase and continuing resolution to hurricane relief efforts, the Senate approved the plan Thursday by an 80-17 vote.

Similarly, conservative groups like the Republican Study Committee and the House Freedom Caucus opposed the deal, but the measure passed that chamber 316-90. All 90 dissenting votes were from Republican lawmakers.

Although administration officials had originally anticipated a deadline of Sept. 29 for raising the debt ceiling to avoid a default, the government’s response to Hurricane Harvey and the threat of Hurricane Irma, which is expected to make landfall in Florida Sunday, shortened the time frame. Some in Congress feared that the Federal Emergency Management Agency could run out of money as early as this weekend.

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