Finance

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

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin 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 McConnell (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 Trump has already enacted three other bills.

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.

Tags Coronavirus Donald Trump economy Mitch McConnell relief bill Steven Mnuchin Treasury

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