Sasse: GOP is turning their ‘backs on the swamp’ with debt ceiling-Harvey deal

By Jack Crowe

GOP Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska said Thursday that Republicans’ willingness to accept the three month debt ceiling raise offered by Democratic leadership contradicted campaign vows to “drain the swamp.”

Sasse lashed out at his fellow Republicans Thursday on the Senate floor before voting on a Harvey relief bill that would appropriate $15.25 billion in relief funding for victims of Hurricane Harvey, temporarily raise the debt ceiling and fund the government through Dec. 15.

“What we’re doing in this body today is not draining the swamp. What we’re doing is running a whole bunch of hoses to the edge of the swamp, turning them on to the highest possible volume flow, and then turning our backs on the swamp and shouting there’s nothing to see here,” he said.

Lawmakers voted 80-17 in favor of sending the bill back to the House for renegotiations. The Senate’s vote comes off the heels of the measure in the House Wednesday, which allocated $7.85 billion for Hurricane Harvey relief funding with near-unanimous support.

Trump accepted the three month raise Wednesday over the objections of leaders within his own party and administration, who advocated for a six to 18 month raise. Sasse offered a direct appraisal of the deal Wednesday afternoon, simply calling it “bad.”

Sasse pointed out that Schumer elevated himself to the “most powerful man in America” by convincing Trump to accept the Democrats’ initial offer of a three month raise.

“Do your constituents know that Chuck Schumer, who’s title is minority leader not majority leader, just made himself the most powerful man in America for the month of December? Chuck Schumer has made himself the key man in all negotiations in December because of the legislation we’re going to pass today,” Sasse said on the Senate floor.

Trump’s decision reportedly shocked and frustrated Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and left the pair confused as to Trump’s priorities and allegiances. Ryan slammed the deal as “disgraceful and ridiculous” moments before the meeting in which Trump sided with Schumer.

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