US House Approves Hurricane Relief and Debt Ceiling Bill

The U.S. House of Representatives approved a debt ceiling bill Friday that includes more than $15 billion in hurricane relief aid.

The measure, passed Thursday by the Senate, now goes to the White House for U.S. President Donald Trump to sign into law.

House members voted 316 to 90 in favor of the bill, which raises the debt ceiling, funds the government until mid-December and provides a relief package for victims of Hurricane Harvey, which hit Texas. All of the opposition votes were cast by Republicans.

The legislation was the result of a deal that was made earlier this week among Trump, Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi.

Some conservative Republican lawmakers strongly objected to the agreement, preferring instead a stand-alone hurricane relief measure that was not linked to efforts to raise the federal borrowing limit and keep the federal government operating until December 8.

Once Trump signs the bill as expected, $15.25 billion in federal aid would be available just as Hurricane Irma, one of the most powerful hurricanes in recorded history, was expected to hit the southeastern state of Florida.

Irma comes on the heels of Hurricane Harvey, which devastated the southern state of Texas and other parts of the Gulf Coast region last week.

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