Utah Sen. Mike Lee voted against a bill Thursday that would provide $15.25 billion in Hurricane Harvey relief while also financing the federal government into December.
The Republican lawmaker is among 17 conservative senators to oppose the measure — part of a deal brokered between President Donald Trump and Democratic leadership Wednesday.
Lee called it “disgraceful” to merge into a single package emergency relief and an increase in the borrowing limit.
“Raising the debt limit without spending reforms is bad policy,” Lee said in a statement following the vote. “The American people deserve better and I will not vote for this status quo deal that only perpetuates the worst of Washington.”
Lee’s usual ally, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, voted for the bill, although he called the combination of two measures ”unfortunate,” and said he would “have much preferred a clean Harvey relief bill.”
Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch, also voted in favor of the bill in an 80-17 tally.
“I voted today to make sure we get relief to those communities that desperately need it because, as I’ve said before, helping ravaged communities in need should not be political,” Hatch noted.
In a speech on the Senate floor, Hatch encouraged lawmakers to use Houston as an example of working across the aisle and “setting aside our petty partisan differences to come together for the good of the nation.”
The House is expected to quickly take up the measure. The rush to insure there’s enough money for the Federal Emergency Management Agency comes as Hurricane Irma barrels over Caribbean islands toward Florida.