Tags: Hurricane Harvey | Mnuchin | debt | limit | harvey | aid

Mnuchin: Raising Debt Limit Should Be Linked to Harvey Aid

Mnuchin: Raising Debt Limit Should Be Linked to Harvey Aid
(AP)

Sunday, 03 September 2017 10:22 AM

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Congress should combine an initial package of relief for victims of Harvey with a boost in the nation’s debt limit, saying lawmakers need to “put politics aside” to ensure that those trying to recover from the storm get the help they need.

“The president and I believe that it should be tied to the Harvey funding,” Mnuchin said of the debt-limit increase on “Fox News Sunday.” He said it should be a so-called clean increase in the borrowing authority that doesn’t have any other provisions tied to it. “We need to help people in Texas and we need to get that done.”

President Donald Trump visited storm-ravaged Texas Saturday saying he hopes for a “quick process” getting Congress to approve almost $8 billion in initial Harvey relief. Trump will meet with congressional leaders of both parties this week to discuss the aid package, Mnuchin said.

In a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan requesting the storm aid, White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney on Friday stopped short of explicitly asking for the aid to be tied to raising the debt ceiling. But the letter makes clear that the emergency spending will accelerate the timetable for raising the limit and conveys the idea that failure to pay obligations could imperil essential government services at a time when residents in Texas need the help.

The White House disaster aid request includes $7.4 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and $450 million for the Small Business Administration. The request is intended primarily to cover funding demands through the end of the federal fiscal year on Sept. 30.

Vote Coming

House GOP leaders plan to vote this week on Trump’s request in initial disaster relief funding but they don’t plan to include a U.S. debt-limit increase in the legislation, two GOP congressional aides said before Mulvaney’s letter was sent.

The efforts to link the two measures are intended to avoid a standoff over the issue that could rattle financial markets. Mnuchin has repeatedly said that it’s “critical” that Congress raise the debt ceiling by Sept. 29.

Trump has threatened to shut down the government if Congress does not include his request for $1.6 billion for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border in a stopgap bill needed to keep the government open past Sept. 30. Asked about funding for the wall, Mnuchin said the president’s top priority was the Harvey aid.

More than 311,000 Texans had already applied for federal disaster relief funds as of Thursday morning and more than $530 million already has been granted, Pence said. About 100,000 homes were damaged by the storm, White House Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert said.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that $120 billion was needed to respond to Hurricane Katrina and he expects damage from Harvey will be greater.

© Copyright 2018 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Politics
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Congress should combine an initial package of relief for victims of Harvey with a boost in the nation's debt limit, saying lawmakers need to "put politics aside" to ensure that those trying to recover from the storm get the help they...
Mnuchin, debt, limit, harvey, aid
475
2017-22-03
Sunday, 03 September 2017 10:22 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved