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Mnuchin: Hurricane Harvey Aid Should Be Tied to Debt Ceiling Increase

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Sunday urged Congress to tie a relief package for Hurricane Harvey victims to a “clean” increase of the debt ceiling. “Our first priority is to make sure that [Texas] gets money. It is critical,” Mnuchin said on Fox News Sunday. “And to do that, we need to make sure we raise the debt limit.” Even before Harvey ravaged Texas and Louisiana, the Trump administration was asking for a clean, no-strings-attached hike in the federal debt limit—to the chagrin of congressional Republicans who have called for spending cuts to be tied to a debt ceiling increase. Congress must raise the debt ceiling before September 29 or risk a default, which could have damaging economic consequences. The Trump administration has asked Congress to take action on a $14.5 billion down payment when they return to Washington next week.

—Andrew Desiderio