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Mnuchin: Congress Should Tie Harvey Aid to Debt Ceiling

House conservatives have opposed such a move.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said that he and President Trump supported tying Hurricane Harvey relief funds to a debt ceiling increase in an appearance on Fox News Sunday.

Asked about House Freedom Caucus Chair Mark Meadows’ (R-NC) assertion that the relief should not be tied to anything, Mnuchin said that the administration’s views were “contrary” to the conservative group’s.

“The president and I believe that it should be tied to the Harvey funding, that our first priority is that the state gets money,” Mnuchin told Fox’s Chris Wallace. “And to do that, we need to make sure that we raise the debt limit.”

“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,” he said.

The federal government expected to hit its debt limit at the end of this month, but the sudden need for relief aid in Texas will push that deadline up, if the debt ceiling is not raised. House conservatives like Meadows have voiced strong opposition to raising the debt ceiling without corresponding deficit reduction steps.