Speed Reads

Doubling Down

McConnell doubles Hurricane Harvey aid in Trump-Democrat short-term debt deal

President Trump surprised Democrats and infuriated Republicans on Wednesday when he agreed to a Democratic proposal to attach $7.9 billion in Hurricane Harvey aid to a three-month spending package and debt-limit increase. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) reluctantly agreed to the deal and turned it into legislation Wednesday night, tacking on another $7.4 billion in community block grants to jump-start rebuilding efforts.

The Senate is expected to approve the $15.3 billion package as early as Friday, then it would go back to the House, which has already approved the $7.9 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Small Business Administration. FEMA could run out of emergency funds as early as this weekend, when Hurricane Irma is projected to hit Florida.