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Harvey victim funds may be delayed without debt limit increase - Mnuchin

04 September 2017

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he is putting together new sanctions seeking to cut off trade with North Korea after it detonated a thermonuclear device in its sixth and most powerful nuclear test. "It is critical. And to do that, we need to make sure we raise the debt limit". "I know that the wall is a huge priority to the president and we want to make sure that we get money for that".

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

Mnuchin's new deal contrasts his statements from just days earlier, in which he said it was not necessary to tie legislation for Harvey and debt.

"The president and I believe that it should be tied to the Harvey funding, that our first priority is to make sure that the state gets money", he said. There's talk that the House is going to take up, that's nearly a billion dollars in disaster relief this next week.

The government's cash reserves are running low because the debt limit has actually already been reached, and the Treasury Department is using various accounting measures to cover expenses.

President Trump visits Springfield, Mo. to speak about tax reform
But Trump's mission on Wednesday, administration officials said , was to frame the debate, not lay out a detailed proposal. Trump's daughter wants tax code reform to help make it easier for working mothers to pay for childcare.

The Republican-controlled Congress - which includes fiscal conservatives adverse to more spending or borrowing - must upon returning also promptly agree on another key issue, passing a spending resolution to keep the federal government fully operational past September 30.

Harvey, which came ashore on August 25 as the most powerful hurricane to hit Texas in more than 50 years, has killed an estimated 50 people, displaced more than 1 million and damaged some 200,000 homes in a path of destruction stretching for more than 300 miles (480 km). That's even as he and other members of the Republican leadership have reiterated that they will undoubtedly raise the debt ceiling. But rank-and-file congressional Republicans fear criticism from the right if they vote for a "clean" hike (one without accompanying spending cuts).

Karen Waltmon, 58, who was returning to her home in one of the neighborhoods, said she wondered if parts of the city would have to be razed.

Mnuchin went on to say that if Congress appropriates the money, but the treasury doesn't have the ability to borrow more money to pay for it, then the funs will not actually be available for Texas.

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said on NBC News' "Meet the Press" that Harvey funds will "likely" be combined with a larger bill, but he said indicate what it will be.

Harvey victim funds may be delayed without debt limit increase - Mnuchin