| WASHINGTON, June 2
WASHINGTON, June 2 Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic
leader in the U.S. House of Representatives, on Friday expressed
support for quick action this summer to raise Washington's
borrowing authority rather than leaving the legislation until
September or beyond.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has been urging Congress
to raise the debt limit before it leaves for a long summer
recess that is scheduled for the entire month of August.
Trump administration officials have cited lagging revenues
flowing into the Treasury as reason for Congress to act
promptly. There had been earlier speculation that the Treasury
could manage under the existing ceiling until sometime this
"Everything we're hearing is that it should probably be done
before we leave the end of July," Pelosi told reporters.
She added, "Might as well do it in a way and be in front of
it instead of behind it," referring to the potential financial
market upheavals that could ensue during the August recess if
all of Treasury's tools for staving off a default were being
exhausted amid inaction by lawmakers.
In 2011, the United States came close to what would have
been a historic default as Republicans withheld their support
for a debt limit increase in order to win deep budget cuts.
Earlier on Friday, National Economic Council Director Gary
Cohn told CNBC that while there is a preference for a debt limit
bill from Congress that is "clean" and unencumbered by
legislative add-ons, "If we need to get things attached to get
it through (Congress) we'll attach things."
Pelosi warned Republicans who control the House and Senate
that she has no "intention of lifting the debt ceiling to enable
the Republicans to give another tax break to the wealthy in our
country" that would deepen the federal debt or be paid for by
budget cuts to education, medical research and other vital
Democrats generally have supported "clean" debt limit
increases, while Republicans are deeply divided, with some
conservatives insisting that borrowing authority be raised only
if an equal amount of spending cuts are enacted.
Some conservative Republicans also have been pushing
legislation that would allow Treasury to "prioritize" its debt
payments if borrowing authority was running out. It was not
clear whether they would want to attach such language to a debt
limit increase bill.
(Reporting By Richard Cowan; Editing by Alistair Bell)