A key conservative group is urging lawmakers to oppose the deal President Trump made with Democratic leaders tying a short-term debt ceiling hike with an aid package for Hurricane Harvey.
Heritage Action for America issued a "key vote" Thursday against what it's calling the "Pelosi-Schumer-Trump debt ceiling deal," and said the decision to tie raising the debt ceiling to disaster relief funding is wrong.
"Beyond the politics of exploiting hurricane victims and potentially delaying much-needed disaster relief, the proposed combination is wrong on policy grounds," wrote Heritage Action, which is the lobbying arm of the Heritage Foundation.
Trump met with congressional leaders from both parties at the White House on Wednesday. In a statement released after the meeting, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Trump and Republicans agreed to a deal to lift the debt ceiling and extend government funding until Dec. 15.
The three-month debt ceiling hike and extension of government funding will be added to a House-passed Hurricane Harvey aid package.
In agreeing to the deal with Pelosi and Schumer, Trump bucked previous offerings from Republicans to extend the debt limit for 18 months or six months.
Republican leaders said they would take up the measure from Trump and Democratic leaders, but a Republican aide told the Washington Examiner on Wednesday the proposal came as a "surprise" to the GOP.
Heritage Action cautioned against tying a debt ceiling suspension to the emergency funding package, and the group's CEO Michael Needham said Sunday doing so would be "exploiting this hurricane and people who lost their houses to allow business as usual in Washington" to continue.
In a letter Wednesday, Heritage Action and other conservative groups urged House Republican leaders not to raise the debt ceiling without reforms.
"It is irresponsible and reprehensible for Congress to use much-needed Harvey-related spending to bypass this important fiscal check," the conservative group said Thursday.