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In Louisville, McConnell, Mnuchin Say Debt Ceiling Increase Will Happen

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. He is expected to end the judicial filibuster in a bid to confirm Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.
AP
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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. He is expected to end the judicial filibuster in a bid to confirm Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said there is "zero chance" Congress will allow the country to default on its debt by voting to not increase the borrowing limit.McConnell's comments came Monday during a joint appearance in Louisville with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.Mnuchin said it is his "strong preference" that Congress pass a "clean" increase to the debt limit, meaning the legislation would have no other proposals attached to it that would make it more difficult to pass. He also said simplifying the nation’s tax code is a priority.“What we’re trying to do, on the personal side, is simplify taxes,” he said. “Taxes are way, way too complicated. By raising the standard deduction, by limiting deductions, 95 percent of Americans will be able to fill out their taxes on a large postcard.”McConnell did not comment on Mnuchin’s request for a clean debt ceiling increase, but vowed to "get the job done."He also didn’t mention Trump during his remarks. These were McConnell's first public comments since the president publicly criticized him for failing to pass a repeal of former President Barack Obama's health care law.As far as the health care law goes, McConnell said the way forward on making dramatic changes is “murky.”Last month, the Republican-led Senate failed to muster enough votes for a partial repeal of the ACA.McConnell said moving forward, Republican leaders will look for some common ground with Democrats to revive the effort.“The Democrats have been pretty uninterested in any reforms,” McConnell said. “They’re really interested in sending money to insurance companies, but not very interested in reforms.   So when we get back after Labor Day we’ll have to sit down and talk to them and see what the way forward might be.”

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." Email Rick at rhowlett@lpm.org.