WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump signed a bill Friday to raise the debt ceiling and allow government spending for three months, as well as set aside around $15.3 billion for disaster relief.
The U.S. Senate passed the measure Thursday in an 80-17 vote, with both Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., voting in favor of the legislation. Seventeen Republicans voted against the bill.
The House of Representatives passed the bill Friday morning 316-90. Rep. David McKinley, R-W.Va., was the only West Virginia delegate to vote for passage. All 90 votes cast against the measure were made by Republicans, including Reps. Alex Mooney and Evan Jenkins.
As a result of the passed legislation, the new deadline for raising the debt ceiling and passing a spending package has been set to Dec. 8. If an agreement is not reached by then, the federal government would be forced to shutdown.
The bill also sets aside around $15.3 billion for disaster aid, two weeks after Hurricane Harvey struck Texas and Louisiana as well as before Hurricane Irma is forecasted to make landfall in Florida. The House sent a bill to the Senate on Wednesday with almost $7.8 billion in funding.
The vote comes after Trump reached a deal with Democratic leaders about the three-month plan regarding the nation’s spending and borrowing authority.
McKinley said because senators adjourned Thursday evening, the House had no other choice but to pass the legislation.
“Without action, FEMA would have run out of money for disaster relief today,” the 1st District congressman said in a statement. “The Senate voted and left town yesterday, so the House had no choice but to take or leave this package. Providing much-needed relief for Texas and Florida is the responsible thing to do.”
McKinley added the issue of the national debt must be addressed, and he will be working on curtailing spending in the upcoming months.
Mooney and Jenkins, who voted for the earlier House disaster aid amendment, said in separate statements they voted against the bill as it did nothing to change the trend of government spending.
“I support and have voted for funding government at the appropriate levels after input from all elected representatives in the regular appropriations bills,” Mooney said. “Kicking the fiscal can down the road another three months is not a solution to our budget problems.”
Jenkins said he could not pass a bill with “yet more wasteful spending and debt.”
“We need to be enacting spending reforms and cuts, and an increase in the debt limit without these cuts is simply unacceptable,” he added.
The U.S. Small Business Administration will also receive $450 million for its disaster loans program under the bill.