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Mnuchin on coronavirus funding: 'We need to spend what it takes'

Mnuchin on coronavirus funding: 'We need to spend what it takes'
© Bonnie Cash

Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Mastercard - Dem leaders back smaller COVID-19 relief bill as pandemic escalates Sweeping financial crimes bill to hitch a ride on defense measure On The Money: Funding bill hits snag as shutdown deadline looms | Pelosi, Schumer endorse 8 billion plan as basis for stimulus talks | Poll: Most Americans support raising taxes on those making at least 0K MORE on Wednesday said that there's a desire to spend what is needed to combat the coronavirus crisis, though he also said he was sensitive about adding to the national debt.

"I think we're all sensitive to that this is a war and we need to win this war and we need to spend what it takes to win the war," Mnuchin said in an interview on Fox Business Network. "On the other hand, I think we are sensitive to the economic impacts of putting on debt, and that's something that the president is reviewing with us very carefully."

Mnuchin's comments come after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: Unemployment gains lower than expected | Jobs report lights fire under coronavirus relief talks GOP senators back Christian school's push for COVID-19 carve-out Bipartisan governors call on Congress to pass coronavirus relief package MORE (R-Ky.) on Tuesday signaled resistance to quickly moving on an additional coronavirus relief bill, saying that lawmakers need to start thinking about the debt. The Senate passed a $484 billion relief measure on Tuesday, and President TrumpDonald John TrumpAppeals court OKs White House diverting military funding to border wall construction Pentagon: Tentative meeting between spy agencies, Biden transition set for early next week Conservative policy director calls Section 230 repeal an 'existential threat' for tech MORE has already enacted three other bills.

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The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget has projected that debt held by the public will exceed the size of the economy by the end of the fiscal year.

Mnuchin noted that interest rates are currently low.

"The good news is interest rates are very low, so the cost of carrying the debt to the American taxpayer is quite low," he said.