U.S. President Donald Trump surprised congressional Republicans on Wednesday when he backed a deal proposed by Democrats to end the budget stalemate. The deal ensures that government will remain funded until the end of the year.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said on Wednesday that the president had backed their plan to combine raising the debt ceiling and government funding with aid to the Hurricane Harvey relief effort. In accepting the deal, Trump ignored the advice of GOP lawmakers and even his own treasury secretary. The turn of events left congressional Republicans “shell-shocked” and “visibly annoyed,” according to media sources.
GOP leaders were reportedly seeking an 18-month extension before floating a six-month increase.
By reaching a deal well ahead of the 30 September deadline, Trump has availed Congress of a bitter negotiation period that likely would have continued until the 11th hour. Under the new spending measure, the state of Texas will receive immediate funding to begin its relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. However, Texas Governor Greg Abbott says that as much as $180 billion will be needed to fully recover from the storm.
President Trump is said to be shifting his focus to tax reform, with members if his administration claiming that a deal can be finalised by the end of the year. The White House unveiled an ambitious plan in the spring that included slashing corporate tax rates and reducing the number of tax brackets.
Hurricane Harvey triggered the biggest spike in U.S. jobless claims since 2012, data from the Department of Labor showed on Thursday. The number of Americans filing for first time unemployment benefits surged by 62,000 in the latest week to reach 298,000. Analysts in a median estimate called for a reading of 245,000.
 Sam Bourgi (6 September 2017). “S&P 500 Futures Regain Poise on Debt Limit Optimism.” Economic Calendar.
 Jeff Zeleny et al. (7 September 2017). “Republican leaders in the room ‘shell-shocked’ following Trump deal with Democrats.” CNN.
 Marianna Parraga and Gary Williams (3 September 2017). “Funding battle looms as Texas sees Harvey damage at up to $180 billion.” Reuters.
 Sho Chandra (7 September 2017). “U.S. Jobless Claims Soar by Most Since 2012 on Hurricane Harvey.” Bloomberg Markets.