Date
19 September 2017
Donald Trump meets with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (2nd L), Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (2nd R), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (R) and other congressional leaders in the White House on Wednesday. Photo: Reuters
Donald Trump meets with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (2nd L), Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (2nd R), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (R) and other congressional leaders in the White House on Wednesday. Photo: Reuters

Trump backs Democrats to seal deal on US debt limit

US President Donald Trump forged a deal with Democrats in Congress on Wednesday to extend the nation’s debt limit and provide government funding until Dec. 15, Reuters reports.

The president met at the White House with congressional leaders from both parties to seal the rare bipartisan accord, the report said.

To clinch the agreement, Trump overruled Republicans and his own treasury secretary who wanted a longer-term debt-limit extension rather than the three-month Democratic proposal the president embraced.

If passed by the Republican-led Congress, the agreement will avert an unprecedented default on US government debt, keep the government funded at the outset of the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 and provide aid to victims of Hurricane Harvey, the report said.

“It was a really good moment of some bipartisanship and getting things done,” top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer was quoted as saying.

While the deal staved off what had been expected to be a bruising political fight this month, there were no guarantees for agreement on longer-term moves in December.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, overridden by Trump during the meeting, said he would bring the deal to the Senate floor for a vote.

“The president can speak for himself, but his feeling was that we needed to come together, to not create a picture of divisiveness at a time of genuine national crisis,” McConnell told reporters.

The agreement was an uncommon instance of bipartisan compromise since Trump took office in January.

Washington has suffered through bitter partisanship that has at times left the US capital dysfunctional under Trump and his Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama. Trump had tangled repeatedly with Schumer and top House Democrat Nancy Pelosi.

“We had a very good meeting with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One.

”We agreed to a three-month extension on debt ceiling, which they consider to be sacred, very important. Always we’ll agree on debt ceiling, automatically because of the importance of it,” Trump said.

Conservative groups were aghast, accusing Trump of caving in to the Democrats rather than insisting on spending cuts to accompany the debt ceiling increase, and some hard-line Republicans expressed opposition to it.

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RC

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