Speed Reads

hurricane harvey

House approves $7.8 billion in Hurricane Harvey relief

The House of Representatives approved $7.85 billion in Hurricane Harvey relief funds Wednesday in a nearly unanimous vote of 419-3, BuzzFeed News reports. Only Reps. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), and Thomas Massey (R-Ky.) voted against the bill.

The bill will now go to the Senate, where it could be paired with legislation to raise the debt ceiling, likely sparking a more divisive vote than what took place in the House. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin encouraged the bills to be linked, claiming "the costs for disaster relief may push up the deadline for the debt ceiling — a situation that could become more urgent if the Category 5 Hurricane Irma hits the Florida coast," The Hill writes.

Not everyone agrees with using Harvey aid as leverage. "We should quickly pass a bill to assist victims with no add-ons, no pork spending, and no attachments to gain leverage over separate issues," said House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (R-N.C.).

"Total losses" from Hurricane Harvey could cost $190 billion, Accuweather reports.