Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Wednesday that President Trump and congressional Democrats were the main movers of a new deal to extend federal spending and borrowing authority for the next three months.
"The president and the Senate and House Democratic leadership agreed to a three-month continuing resolution and a debt ceiling into December," McConnell told reporters Wednesday.
In his opening statement to reporters, McConnell made no mention of the Republican position in the meeting, although Republicans were known to be hotly opposed to the plan. Still, McConnell said in light of Trump's agreement, he would be looking to move the bill Trump wants.
"I will be adding that as an amendment to the flood relief bill that's come over from the House on the floor, and I will be supporting it," McConnell said of language extending federal spending and suspending the debt ceiling for three months. "And that'll be obviously the biggest item of the week."
McConnell spoke after Trump, in an Oval Office meeting with congressional leaders from both parties, rejected the GOP proposal to extend the debt limit for 18 months, or as a compromise, six-months.
Trump sided with Democrats on the three-month deal, which came as a "surprise" to the GOP, according to a Republican aide.
McConnell and other Republican leaders appeared resigned to the deal, and said it would at least clear the way for the GOP to start tackling tax reform. The deal, Majority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas, said, "makes sense," because "It gives us some space to operate so that we can get to tax reform."
In the House, lawmakers plan to pave the way on tax reform by taking up a 2018 budget proposal as early as next week, Budget Committee Chairwoman Diane Black said Wednesday morning. The bill would serve as the vehicle for passing tax cuts without being stalled by the Senate filibuster rule.
McConnell said the emergency created by Hurricane Harvey and the impending impact on Florida of Category 5 Hurricane Irma influenced the decision to quickly agree to the short term measure on the debt ceiling, which lawmakers argued is needed to supply funding to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
"If this isn't the definition of an emergency, I don't know what is," McConnell said. "The president agreed with [Democrats]," McConnell said. "The president can speak for himself. His feeling was, we needed to come together, to not create a picture of divisiveness, at a time of genuine national crisis. And that was the rationale. I have confidence in his decision."
Democrats announced early Wednesday they would not support a debt ceiling increase longer than three months. They said they want time to negotiate their wish list items in exchange for a longer deal on spending.
Democrats want legislation to ensure the legalization of young people who came here illegally as children. They also want money to shore up Obamacare.