Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) has decided to cancel his hurricane relief plan and instead use the money to pay down the federal debt, according to a letter he sent Friday.
The letter to GOP leadership in the Senate’s HELP Committee said he would only support hurricane relief funding for areas hit by Harvey if Congress included the $4.5 trillion spending plan as part of a larger spending bill to avert the fiscal cliff, which lawmakers have promised to do by Oct. 1.
The Texas Republican has been critical of President Donald Trump and Republicans for their handling of Harvey.
Cornyn’s office said Friday he would be voting against the Harvey relief package, which had a bipartisan support in the GOP-controlled Senate.
Cornys letter did not specify where the funding for Harvey relief would come from, but he said it would be used to help pay down debt.
Cornies letter came as Trump and GOP leaders in the House are working to reach a spending deal that would avert the cliff on their way to the November elections.
The GOP-led House is set to vote on a $1.9 trillion spending package that would reopen the government and reopen government operations and raise the nation’s borrowing limit for the first time since 2009.
The bill is expected to pass the Senate next week.
But Cornyn has said the legislation must include a funding plan to pay for Harvey, which is expected on Friday.
Trump on Thursday said he was willing to let Congress vote on Harvey relief if the federal government could get it done.
“I would be willing to make that happen if it can be done,” Trump said.
The president added that he had not spoken with Cornyn about the matter.
Corny told The Hill that he would work to make sure Harvey relief is included in the spending bill, adding that it would not be easy to get it passed.
Corn and Trump met Friday afternoon in Washington.
Corn said that the president’s comments about him were “a big reason” why he has decided not to support the Harvey spending package.
“You are a big deal,” Cornyn said.
Corn is among Republicans who are not backing the spending plan that includes a Harvey relief measure.