Politics

Trump Official ‘100 Percent Confident’ in Avoiding Debt Default

Treasury secretary says White House and Hill leaders ‘all on the same page’

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Friday declared himself “100 percent confident” that lawmakers and the White House will strike a debt ceiling-hiking deal next month. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A senior Trump administration official guaranteed Friday a debt ceiling hike will occur next month and prevent a potentially damaging federal default.

“The debt ceiling will be raised,” Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said, adding he has had talks with congressional leaders about how to get a bill raising America’s borrowing limit to President Donald Trump’s desk.

Mnuchin described White House officials and congressional leaders as “all on the same page,” adding: “The government intends to pay [its] debts.”

[Trump Tries to Embarrass Another GOP Senator Via Twitter]

“I am 100 percent confident,” Mnuchin said of a debt-ceiling hike, adding he cannot see “any scenario” under which “the government won’t pay its bills.”

Speaker Paul D. Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also have expressed confidence that lawmakers will indeed pass a debt ceiling-hiking measure next month. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer want to raise the borrowing limit with no dramatics.

Some Republican lawmakers want to attach federal spending cuts, but senior administration officials — including Mnuchin — say Trump wants a “clean” bill with nothing else included.

Meantime, Trump was leaving for Camp David on Friday after, just as Hurricane Harvey bears down on the Texas coast. Senior aides defended his decision to spend the weekend — amid a natural disaster — at the rustic presidential retreat.

[On Venezuela, White House Opts for Further Sanctions]

Trump had three major concerns Friday morning during a briefing with Thomas Bossert, a homeland security adviser, about Hurricane Harvey: the safety of evacuating people in Texas; whether the federal government has the necessary resources to deal with the storm; and whether folks in Louisiana — including New Orleans — are ready if the storm shifts to the east.

On resources, Trump administration officials they have pre-positioned ample things to adequately respond, Bossert said.

 

Once the massive storm subsides, Trump plans to travel to Texas next week to survey the aftermath, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

 

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.