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

A Goldman Sachs sign on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York City

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he can't reassure conservatives who want to divorce the Harvey money from efforts to lift the government's borrowing limit. "And without raising the debt limit, I'm not comfortable that we would get the money that we need this month to Texas to rebuild".

Asked about Trump's past threats to force a government shutdown if Congress does not also include his $1.6 billion request for a wall on the U.S. -Mexico border, Mnuchin said Harvey aid was Trump's "first objective right now".

Mnuchin originally had said that Congress would need to raise the $19.9 trillion borrowing limit by September 29 to avoid a catastrophic default on the debt, allowing the government to continue borrowing money to pay bills like Social Security and interest.

Getting the federal funds to assist the victims of Hurricane Harvey may turn out to be a longer process than some were anticipating. "It is critical and to do that, we need to make sure we raise the debt limit". "We're not going to engage in a pity party", Turner told CBS News.

Outside of Harvey, Mnuchin told Wallace he was drafting a sanctions package regarding North Korea amid news that the country had detonated a hydrogen bomb as part of its sixth nuclear test. Among their pressing tasks: increase America's borrowing authority and prevent an unprecedented default.

American financial firms are expressing alarm over fears that an increasingly dysfunctional US Congress may fail to reach an agreement to raise the country's debt ceiling.

"We are going to strongly consider everything at this point. The economic impact associated with debt default is so vast", said Rob Nichols, president and CEO of the American Bankers Association (ABA), one of the country's key financial lobby groups.

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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. You're saying that you want to see a clean debt limit without any other spending cuts tied to that disaster relief.

Democrats said there should be bipartisan talks on how to handle the debt ceiling and government spending bills.

Greg Abbott warned Sunday that the $8billion earmarked by the White House for Harvey relief would be only a "down-payment" on the total expected $180 billion bill.

Houston was still struggling to recover on Sunday, when the city forced the evacuation of thousands of people on the western side of town to accommodate the release of water from a pair of reservoirs that otherwise might sustain damage.

Blunt said relief money should be given out multiple times on an as-needed basis rather than in a large lump sum as was done for Hurricane Sandy in 2002.

Mnuchin's new deal contrasts his statements from just days earlier, in which he said it was not necessary to tie legislation for Harvey and debt.

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