U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Friday that he believes Congress will raise the government’s debt ceiling in September, ahead of a deadline for default.
Mnuchin told reporters at the White House that he’d had talks with House and Senate congressional leaders from both parties and said everyone was “on the same page.”
“The government intends to pay its debts and the debt ceiling will be raised,” he said.
Mnuchin said his preference was for a bill that does not include unrelated items, a tactic sometimes used by lawmakers to help their agendas.
“My strong preference is that we have a clean debt ceiling [increase], but the most important issue is the debt ceiling will be raised in September,” Mnuchin said.
His comments came a day after President Donald Trump lashed out at Republican lawmakers for creating a “mess” of the debt ceiling legislation process.
In a series of tweets on Thursday, Trump scolded Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan for not attaching debt ceiling legislation to a recently signed bill that aims to assist veterans.
If Congress does not raise the debt ceiling by the end of September, the federal government may not be able to pay some of its bills, including payments on its debts, which could hurt the U.S. credit rating.
Separately, a measure to keep the federal government open once appropriations run out on September 30 must also be passed.
The deadlines represent a showdown for Trump, who has repeatedly clashed with Republicans over budget priorities.