Speed Reads


Republicans seethe after Steven Mnuchin's debt deal pitch: 'About as well received as his wife's Instagram post'

Though the House ultimately approved a $15.25 billion Harvey aid and debt-spending package Friday, many conservative Republicans weren't happy about Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's prodding for them to do so. After a Friday morning meeting at which Mnuchin reportedly told Republicans to "vote for the debt ceiling for me," some Republicans went on the record about their annoyance.

Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.) said he found Mnuchin's comments to be "not helpful" and "intellectually insulting." "He's not one of my constituents!" Rep. Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) said. Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.) complained that Mnuchin "could not answer" a question about what the debt ceiling would "look like in December," and described the treasury secretary's spiel as "a very arrogant lecture that turned off more of the conference." Meanwhile, Rep. Ryan Costello (R-Pa.) joked that Mnuchin's speech was "about as well received as his wife's Instagram post," referring to Mnuchin's new bride Louise Linton's recent controversial post boasting about all the expensive designer brands she was wearing.

Even before Mnuchin's pitch, Republicans weren't thrilled with the debt deal. President Trump caught his fellow party members off guard Wednesday when he signed on to Democrats' proposal for a short-term debt hike over Republican leaders' objections.

The House passed the package, which raises the debt ceiling and funds the federal government until Dec. 8 and allocates $15.25 billion for hurricane and disaster relief after Hurricane Harvey ravaged Texas and right before Hurricane Irma is expected to hit Florida. The measure was approved in a 316-90 vote. Of Republicans, 133 voted in favor, 90 voted against, and 16 didn't vote; four Texas Republicans were reportedly among those who voted no.