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Mnuchin: Debt limit should be tied to Harvey funding

04 September 2017

"It is absolutely critical, and the president is committed to making sure that the states have the money that they need".

During an interview on "Fox News Sunday", Mnuchin was asked whether he can guarantee that disaster aid for Harvey would not be tied to a bill to raise the debt limit. "So that's what we're focused on this week, and we'll be meeting with leadership of both parties to work on that". "Without raising the debt limit, I'm not comfortable that we will get the money that we need this month to Texas to rebuild". Congress must act by September 29 in order to raise the debt ceiling, a more contentious vote than the one for Harvey aid. The move amounts to the opening salvo in what could end up being a drawn out fight with an influential group of House conservatives who have warned against pursuing this strategy.

In a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., requesting the storm aid, White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney Friday stopped short of explicitly asking for the aid to be tied to raising the debt ceiling. "I think we may be in a situation where the administration believes we'll get more economic growth than perhaps the models that come out of Congress".

Days ago, House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows told The Washington Post that Harvey money is important, yet attaching it to the debt ceiling would "send the wrong message".

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer issued a joint statement urging bipartisanship on both issues Sunday afternoon, but did not commit to anything outright.

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Data next week will provide a better indication of the extent of the damage to the USA energy sector from Tropical Storm Harvey. If it drops below $40, producers may not be able to make a profit, and drilling new wells would likely taper off, she said.

If Congress approves the relief but additional money is not borrowed, "we're not going to be able to get that money to the state".

Outside of Harvey, Mnuchin told Wallace he was drafting a sanctions package regarding North Korea amid news that the country had detonated a hydrogen bomb as part of its sixth nuclear test.

"I feel a lot of Houston is drying out, and I don't want them to forget about us", she said.

Speaking Sunday on ABC's "This Week, " Cruz said the USA should "use economic leverage to go against not only North Korea but every financial institution, every company that does business with North Korea". Mnuchin said the US would work with China, but "people need to cut off North Korea economically".

Mnuchin said that people need to cut off North Korea economically and did not rule out the possibility of implementing stronger regulations on Chinese companies and financial institutions doing business with the North.

Mnuchin: Debt limit should be tied to Harvey funding