Mnuchin: Congress Needs To Raise Debt Limit To Ensure Harvey Relief Aid

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin takes a  question in the briefing room of the White House, in Washington, Wednesday, April 26, 2017, where they discussed President Donald Trump tax proposals. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Andrew Harnik/AP

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on Sunday said aid for Hurricane Harvey relief should be attached to an increase in the federal debt limit.

“The President and I believe that it should be tied to the Harvey funding,” Mnuchin said on “Fox News Sunday.”

He said the White House’s “first priority is to make sure” that Texas receives aid.

“It is critical, and to do that we need to make sure that we raise the debt limit,” Mnuchin said. “If Congress appropriates the money, but I don’t have the ability to borrow more money and pay for it, we’re not going to be able to get that money to the state.”

Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), the leader of the hardline conservative House Freedom Caucus, on Thursday said that attaching aid for Hurricane Harvey relief to an increase in the debt ceiling would be a “terrible idea.”

“The Harvey relief would pass on its own, and to use that as a vehicle to get people to vote for a debt ceiling is not appropriate,” Meadows told the Washington Post.

“At this point we need to put politics aside,” Mnuchin said on Sunday. “We need to make sure that we can get to Texas the appropriate amount of money to rebuild the state.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.

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