Mnuchin pushes for ‘clean’ debt ceiling boost

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has begun lobbying congressional leaders for a “clean” debt ceiling increase, according to Capitol Hill sources.

But that debt increase — needed sometime this fall — will prove a tough vote for both parties, and neither GOP nor Democratic leaders have signed yet off on the Trump administration’s plan to raise the debt limit without attaching other policy sweeteners.

Mnuchin met Tuesday morning with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to discuss the issue, as well as other topics, per Senate aides.

Mnuchin is seeking a clean debt ceiling increase by Sept. 29, according to a letter he sent to congressional leaders last week. To get it through Congress by then will require both the House and Senate to begin work soon after they return from the August recess.

“To ensure that we have robust economic growth and to promote fiscal discipline, the Trump administration believes it’s important to raise the debt ceiling as soon as possible,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters on Tuesday afternoon. “Over the past two decades, members of Congress and presidents from both parties have raised the debt ceiling 15 times, and we look forward to working with Congress to ensure the full faith and credit of the United States government.”

Democrats, however, are not sure that Mnuchin and the White House can line up a significant number of GOP votes for any such debt boost.


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