Mnuchin says spending cuts forced 'hard choices' in budget

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Mnuchin also urged the House Ways and Means Committee to pass the debt limit legislation as a bill without controversial additions, such as spending cuts sought by conservatives, that could complicate its approval. Former Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, succeeded in imposing spending cuts upon former President Barack Obama in a major debt limit battle in 2011, but Obama rejected the idea in subsequent debt deals - which cleared Congress with bipartisan support.

Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said Congress may hear soon about a date change for the debt ceiling.

While the Freedom Caucus said it agreed with raising the debt limit before the break, the actual urgency of that timeline was not clear, as Treasury had been seen previously as having enough borrowing room to get it well into the fall under the current debt limit.

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.

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U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin discusses the Trump administration's budget plan during the Peterson Foundation's 2017 Fiscal Summit in Washington, U.S., May 23, 2017. Congress and the administration can discuss future spending cuts, but it was "absolutely critical" to preserve USA creditworthiness by paying debts already incurred, he said.

"My understanding is that the receipts now are coming in a little bit slower than expected, and you may soon hear from Mr. Mnuchin regarding a change in the date", Mulvaney said, referring to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

"We demand that any increase of the debt ceiling be paired with policy that addresses Washington's unsustainable spending", the Freedom Caucus said in a statement on Wednesday. Democrats have proved more open to a clean increase.

"We are talking about half the births in the United States, 30 million children, and half of all nursing home and long-term care nationwide for senior citizens and people with disabilities", said Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., citing Medicaid's extensive reach.

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