Tying Hurricane Relief with Debt Ceiling Increase

Sep 4, 2017

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin wants a clean bill to raise the debt ceiling, meaning no spending cuts. And he wants to tie it somehow to disaster relief for Hurricane Harvey. “At this point, we need to put politics aside. We need to make sure that we can get to Texas the appropriate amount of money to rebuild the state. It is absolutely critical, and the president is committed to making sure that the states have the money that they need." Mnuchin went on to warn that if Congress appropriates the disaster money without raising the debt spending limit, the Treasury will not have the authority to borrow the money. The Trump administration is asking Congress to appropriate $7.85 billion as a down payment for disaster relief. $7.4 billion will go to FEMA and $450 million will go to the Small Business Administration’s disaster loan program. With Hurricane Harvey, Mnuchin said Congress will have to act earlier than the end of September to raise the debt ceiling.