White House Says Congress May Need to Raise Debt Limit Earlier Than Anticipated

By Kate DavidsonFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said Wednesday the date by which Congress will need to raise the debt limit may come sooner than the administration had anticipated.

"My understanding is that the receipts currently are coming in a little bit slower than expected and you may soon hear from [Treasury Secretary Steven] Mnuchin regarding a change in the date," Mr. Mulvaney told the House Ways and Means Committee.

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A 16-month suspension of the federal borrowing limit expired in March, and Treasury began employing emergency cash-conservation steps soon thereafter to avoid breaching the debt ceiling. Analysts had expected those steps would allow Treasury to keep paying its bills until this fall. But that estimate depended on the strength of Treasury receipts over the spring and summer.

Mr. Mulvaney said the White House does not yet have a final stated policy for the legislative approach it would like Congress to take on raising the debt ceiling. He said he met with Mr. Mnuchin for an hour Tuesday to discuss the issue, and the two are waiting for National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn to return from his overseas trip with the president to continue those discussions.

Raising the statutory debt limit will present challenging internal politics for Republicans, who have frequently opposed such increases or insisted on conditions.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 24, 2017 13:54 ET (17:54 GMT)