WASHINGTON -- Harvey has scrambled the equation for Congress as lawmakers get ready to return to Washington on Tuesday after a five-week summer recess.
A daunting workload awaits, including funding the government by month's end and increasing the federal borrowing limit to head off a catastrophic first-ever default.
House leaders have announced plans to vote Wednesday on a bill to deliver disaster relief to Texas as it recovers from Harvey. The move on a $7.9 billion relief package would replenish a rapidly depleting disaster aid fund even as another storm, Hurricane Irma, churns out in the Atlantic. The vote would come as a stand-alone measure, and not be tied to the contentious issue of increasing the nation's borrowing limit. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Sunday that Harvey relief should be tied to a debt limit bill, as a way to ensure storm victims get help.
Some House conservatives are opposed to directly pairing disaster aid with a debt limit increase. Democrats have also been cool to the approach. The Senate has not said when or how it will vote on Harvey aid. The House is also expected to vote on a package of eight spending bills, which could spark debate on controversial issues like DACA.
Both chambers are also set to receive a briefing from the White House on North Korea and Afghanistan.