Mnuchin ‘100 percent confident’ debt ceiling will be raised

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOn The Money: Trump teases 'major announcement' Saturday on shutdown | Fight with Dems intensifies | Pelosi accuses Trump of leaking trip to Afghanistan | Mnuchin refuses to testify on shutdown impacts The case for Russia sanctions Treasury issues final rules on key part of Trump's tax law MORE said Friday that he is “100 percent confident” the debt ceiling will be raised in September.

“I am 100 percent confident,” Mnuchin said at the White House press briefing. “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSunday shows preview: Shutdown negotiations continue after White House immigration proposal Senate to take up Trump's border-immigration plan next week Trump pitches new plan to reopen government amid Dem pushback MORE said the same thing last week. There is no scenario where the government won’t be paying its bills.”

President Trump said Thursday that he had urged GOP leaders to tie the debt ceiling to a popular Veterans Affairs bill. He blamed Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-Ky.) and Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanAEI names Robert Doar as new president GOP can't excommunicate King and ignore Trump playing to white supremacy and racism House vote fails to quell storm surrounding Steve King MORE (R-Wis.) for failing to do so, accusing them of creating a political “mess.”

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“What the president said was that his strong preference had been when they passed the VA bill that they attached the debt ceiling to that so we wouldn't be dealing with this,” Mnuchin said.

Lawmakers returning after the August recess face a busy September, when they will need to pass a spending bill to keep the government open and raise the debt limit.

“I think there’s lot to do in September,” Mnuchin said. “We have the debt ceiling. We have a budget. Congress has a lot of work this month. I think the president and I wish they had raised the debt ceiling before they left … we'll get it done. 

Congress must raise the debt ceiling by the end of September so that the government can make its payments and keep the nation’s bond rating from being negatively impacted.