President Donald Trump is pushing to raise the nation’s borrowing limit to $1 trillion to avert another financial crisis.
Trump is asking the Treasury Department to increase the limit to an additional $1,000 trillion to be used to shore up the economy and fund federal agencies such as the Veterans Affairs Department.
The president, who was not present at Thursday’s meeting, asked Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to include the $1 billion in the $3.8 trillion plan he unveiled Thursday night to fund the government through the end of March.
Mnuchin, in his budget outline released Thursday, said the extra $1 was needed to prevent another financial disaster and “further stimulate economic growth and job creation.”
It’s not clear if Mnuchin would use the $200 billion increase as the basis for his next spending plan, which is expected to be released on Thursday.
Trump has said he wants the debt limit raised as high as possible before he steps down.
Democrats and many Republicans have criticized the plan as insufficiently aggressive, citing its $200 trillion figure.
Democrats have pointed out that the debt was far lower at $16.6 billion when Trump took office in January.
The debt has risen to $19.6 in February and to $20.9 in March.
The administration has been relying on Congress for help in raising the borrowing limit, with Congress only having the option to raise it by raising the nations debt limit.
The White House said in a statement Thursday that it would seek a new borrowing limit increase of $2.5 trillion if Congress fails to pass an extension.
It said it would also ask the Treasury to set aside $400 billion to provide additional funding to the government as needed.
It said it expects to release an additional spending plan for March in the coming days.
The budget, which Mnuchin has described as a “framework” for his proposed spending plan that is to be published later this week, includes $2 trillion for infrastructure spending, $200 million for a new border wall, $20 billion for a major infrastructure fund and $20 million for an alternative energy plan.