By a 419-3 vote, the House of Representatives passed an initial $7.9 billion aid package to help victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana.
The bill is now on its way to the Senate — where some have said an increase to the nation’s debt ceiling could be tacked on — before it reaches President Donald Trump’s desk for final approval.
“Help is on the way and Congress is delivering the much needed help,” Rep. John Culberson (R-TX) tweeted.
— John Culberson (@CongCulberson) September 6, 2017
“This is a chance to be your brother’s keeper,” Rep. Al Green (D-TX) said. “This is a chance for the unity that we express when we’re before the cameras to manifest itself in the votes that we cast here in Congress.”
The first installment of Harvey aid is to handle the immediate emergency needs and replenish Federal Emergency Management Agency reserves, ABC reported.
Conservatives in the House pushed for a clean Harvey bill and oppose adding a debt ceiling increase in the Senate.
“I think it’s a terrible idea,” Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), chairman of the House Freedom Caucus said, but conceded there may be bigger battles to fight.
”I think at this point there are bigger issues that we have to focus on,” Meadows said in ABC’s report.