Senate approves deal to lift debt ceiling 3 months, sends hurricane relief funds

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WASHINGTON – The Senate approved Thursday a package of bills that paired emergency funding for hurricane relief with measures that would raise the debt ceiling and keep the government open for three months.

The vote was 80-17. All 17 nos were Republicans.

The legislation now goes to the House, which could vote as early as Thursday night.

President Donald Trump, in a surprising move, signed onto the package Wednesday, siding with Democrats who proposed bundling the bills together but only with a three-month extension for the debt ceiling. Republican leaders had sought a debt limit increase for as long as 18 months.

All told, the package includes about¬†$22 billion for FEMA’s disaster relief fund, $15.25 billion of which is new, emergency funds, while another $6.7 billion was already slated to be in the spending measure that funds the government.