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SEPTEMBER 8, 2017
PresidentTrump double-crossed Republicans - hope he had a good reason. President Donald Trump surprised the leaders of his own party in Congress on Wednesday when he backed a deal pushed by Democrats to attach hurricane relief money to a shorter-term bump in the debt ceiling as well as keeping the government open, cutting off his own Treasury secretary to strike a deal.
The decision was one of the most fascinating and mysterious moves he's made with Congress during eight months in office. The remarkable turn of events left Republican congressional leaders, in control of both chambers of the legislative branch, "shell-shocked" and "visibly annoyed," and showcased how a President who also authored "The Art of the Deal" actually cuts one. In Wednesday's session, Republican leaders -- including House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell -- first pushed lifting the debt ceiling for 18 months. With no agreement at hand, they decreased the timeframe to a year, before finally proposing a six-month extension.
Democratic leaders dismissed all of their proposals,
standing firm by their three-month extension plan, which they had publicly
endorsed in a joint statement before the meeting. A source briefed on the
meeting said the top Hill Republicans -- McConnell and House Majority Leader
Kevin McCarthy -- and Trump's own Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, echoed
Ryan's concerns about such a debt limit and warned against problems caused
by a shorter-term solution.