Harvey victim funds may be delayed without debt limit increase -Mnuchin

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin speaks during a news briefing at the White House in Washington U.S. to announce sanctions against Ve

Mnuchin said on Sunday that relief funding for the devastation caused by Harvey Hurricane might be delayed if Congress does not quickly increase the government's debt limit.

A request for more money is expected later this month.

"I'm going to draft a sanctions package to send to the president for his strong consideration, that anybody that wants to do trade or business with them would be prevented from doing trade or business with us", Mnuchin explained. The White House is said to want to extend the debt limit to move back the specter of a USA default until after Congress can address funding for the full fiscal year and the Trump administration's tax-overhaul efforts. "That's our priority. We need to help the people in Texas, and we need to get that done". "It is critical and to do that, we need to make sure we raise the debt limit".

Trump's aid request would add $7.4 billion to dwindling Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster aid coffers and $450 million to finance disaster loans for small businesses. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, however, Mnuchin told CNBC on Thursday that the deadline could move up a few days.

Goldman Sachs, an American financial services company, estimated that failure to raise the ceiling would force a government spending cut equal to between 3 and 4 percent of USA gross domestic product, which would have crippling economic consequences.

Bitter divisions among Republican Party lawmakers and President Donald Trump's unpredictability could rule out a deal to raise the USA debt limit before an October deadline, several lobbyists representing dozens of bankers, investors and credit rating agencies, told Reuters.

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Republican leaders have promised that the debt ceiling will be raised in time. "Given the interplay between all the issues Congress must tackle in September, Democrats and Republicans must discuss all the issues together and come up with a bipartisan consensus", House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said in a joint statement.

But Mnuchin said Sunday that the US can do more, and plans to work with its allies and China to squeeze North Korea.

He also suggested the White House wasn't overly concerned about whether the plan includes ways to offset the loss of federal revenue from the tax cuts.

So, if we - if Congress appropriates the money, but I don't have the ability to borrow more money and pay for it, we're not going to be able to get that money to the state. "There's a lot we can do to cut them off economically - much more than we've done already".

Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said on NBC News' "Meet the Press" that Harvey funds will "likely" be combined with a larger bill, but he said indicate what it will be.

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