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Ryan Slams Democratic Call For Short-Term Debt Limit Increase


House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has lashed out at Democratic leaders for proposing a plan that would combine a Hurricane Harvey aid package with a short-term debt limit increase.

Speaking to reporters at a news conference on Wednesday, Ryan called the Democratic proposal "ridiculous and disgraceful" as well as "unworkable."

The comments from Ryan came after House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., indicated Democrats are prepared to vote for a Harvey aid package combined with a three-month increase in the debt limit.

"We believe this proposal offers a bipartisan path forward to ensure prompt delivery of Harvey aid as well as avoiding a default, while both sides work together to address government funding, DREAMers, and health care," Pelosi and Schumer said in a joint statement.

The proposal from Pelosi and Schumer comes as Republican leaders are expected to need Democratic support to raise the debt ceiling due to opposition from conservatives.

However, Ryan accused the Democratic leaders of playing politics with the debt ceiling and jeopardizing the federal response to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

"They want to play politics with the debt ceiling?" Ryan said. "That will strand the aid that we need to bring to the victims of these storms that have occurred or are about to occur."

The dispute between the party leaders comes as the House voted to approve a bill providing $7.85 billion in disaster relief.

Reports have indicated the emerging strategy calls for the Senate to subsequently add a debt ceiling increase to the aid package and send the bill back to the House.

The short-term debt limit increase proposed by Democrats combined with a potential three-month government spending bill could set up a potentially dangerous fiscal cliff at the end of the year.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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