President Donald Trump embraced the idea on Thursday of ending the need for periodic raises of the ceiling on U.S. debt by Congress, again siding with Democrats a day after stunning fellow Republicans by striking a deal with the opposition party on the debt limit and federal spending.
Trump also turned to Democratic congressional leaders on Thursday in an effort to resolve another pressing matter, the fate of the 800,000 so-called Dreamers, young adults brought illegally into the United States as children.
The Senate approved $15.25 billion in aid for areas affected by Hurricane Harvey and other natural disasters, along with measures in the deal Trump reached with Democrats that would fund the federal government and raise its borrowing limit through Dec. 8.
The bill now goes go to the House of Representatives for final congressional approval. But the measure faced stiff opposition from House conservatives who traditionally favor strict curbs on federal spending.
The leadership of the largest group of House Republican conservatives came out against the deal on Thursday, saying it meant more federal spending without fiscal reforms.
After blindsiding Republican leaders with that agreement, Trump called top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi and top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer on Thursday morning, along with the Republican congressional leaders with whom he has had a tense relationship.
Trump embraced the idea of eliminating the statutory cap on the U.S. Treasury Department’s authority to borrow to keep funding federal deficits and meet debt obligations. Over the years, some conservative Republicans have opposed increasing the debt ceiling without significant cuts in federal spending. That resistance has caused jitters in financial markets over the prospect of an unprecedented U.S. government default on debt.