More on the new Fiscal Realities in Washington
To go along with my post from yesterday is this piece from the NYT: Hurricane Harvey Shifts Political Winds in Washington.
Gone are the confrontational talk of a government shutdown and the brinkmanship over the debt limit. Instead, both Mr. Trump and his putative allies in Congress — many of them professed fiscal hawks — are promising an outpouring of federal aid to begin a recovery and rebuilding effort that will last for years and require tens of billions of dollars, if not substantially more, from Washington.
The storm has utterly transformed the federal fiscal picture.
“This is going to change the whole dynamic for September and, quite frankly, for the Republican establishment for the remainder of the 115th Congress,” said G. William Hoagland, a longtime chief budget adviser to Senate Republicans who is now a senior vice president at the Bipartisan Policy Center. “The truth of the matter is, they don’t need money to build a wall in Texas, but to rebuild the shoreline in Texas.”
Republicans who had been bracing for a September showdown over how to fund the government are rapidly changing course. While they await potentially staggering damage assessments, they are pledging to do whatever it takes to help those flooded out along the Gulf Coast.
As Representative Tom Cole of Oklahoma, a senior Republican member of the House Appropriations Committee, put it, “There will be members who will have to eat a little crow, but the bottom line is the votes are there” because “Congress wants to look functional.”
Part of looking functional, he said, is ending discussion of shuttering the government in a dispute over whether to provide money for a wall border on the southern border.
“You certainly can’t have the government shut down in the middle of a national crisis,” Mr. Cole said.