Mnuchin Says It Is 'Critical' Congress Raise the Debt Limit By Sept. 29

By Kate Davidson Features Dow Jones Newswires

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Friday urged Congress to raise the federal borrowing limit by Sept. 29, and said he would continue to suspend the issuance of new Treasury debt through that date.

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"Based upon our available information, I believe that it is critical that Congress act to increase the nation's borrowing authority by September 29, 2017," he said in a letter to House and Senate leaders Friday.

Mr. Mnuchin has said several times he expects Treasury will be able to keep meeting the government's obligations through September. But Friday's letter is the first time the Trump Treasury has formally notified Congress of a specific date by which the borrowing limit should be raised.

Treasury has been employing cash-conservation measures since mid-March, when government debt hit the statutory limit at nearly $20 trillion, and had imposed a "debt issuance suspension period" that expired Friday.

Mr. Mnuchin notified House and Senate leaders that he was extending the debt issuance suspension period until Sept. 29, and thus would be unable to make new investments in the Civil Services Retirement and Disability Fund.

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated Treasury could run out of room to pay the government's bills by early to mid-October. If Congress doesn't raise the limit by then, the government risks missing certain payments.

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Lawmakers are set to leave Washington for the August recess and won't return until Sept. 5, leaving just a few weeks in which to reach a deal on raising the borrowing limit.

Write to Kate Davidson at kate.davidson@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 28, 2017 17:13 ET (21:13 GMT)