WASHINGTON — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday he remained confident Congress would vote on a debt limit bill before the government runs out of money to pay the nation’s bills, but he suggested Congress needs to act sooner than the Sept. 29 date he has previously cited.

“The next big cash day for us is obviously Sept. 15 — that’s when we get corporate taxes, so the projections could move around a little bit,” Mnuchin said on CNBC. “We obviously have now the hurricane spending, which is an issue. So that is going to have some impact on our September spending. But, more importantly, we are going to have to go to Congress and get authorization to spend more, because it’s absolutely critical that we spend money to help the state.”

“I think there could be some impact of a couple of days,” he said, when asked how the deadline could change.

Mnuchin didn’t give a date, but additional costs to fund hurricane recovery measures and lower-than-expected tax receipts suggest the deadline would come sooner than Sept. 29.

The previous debt ceiling extension expired on March 15. The Treasury Department has since been using so-called extraordinary measures to pay the country’s bills. Mnuchin sent a letter to House Speaker Paul D. Ryan in late July saying those extraordinary measures would last until Sept. 29.

—CQ-Roll Call


Professor whose ‘karma’ tweet sparked outrage won’t be fired, resigns instead

ORLANDO, Fla. — The former University of Tampa instructor whose tweet about Hurricane Harvey sparked online outrage resigned Thursday rather than being fired and said he does not plan to pursue legal action against the school.

“Their focus and my focus primarily has been the safety of the students and, at the end of the day, that’s what matters here,” said Ken Storey of Winter Park, who taught sociology at UT.

On Sunday, Storey posted on Twitter that the storm was “instant karma” for Texans who supported Republicans. After the tweet went viral, Storey deleted it and apologized. UT issued a statement Tuesday indicating he had been “relieved of his duties,” before releasing an update Thursday to say he had resigned.

—Orlando Sentinel


Detroit’s former mayor has to pay $1.5 million in restitution

DETROIT — He says he’s broke, with just 96 cents in the bank.

But the law is the law.

On Thursday, a federal judge ordered former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to pay $1.52 million in restitution to the city of Detroit for his corruption crimes. The money is supposed to go to the water and sewer department, which, jurors concluded, overpaid for a sewer repair project because of manipulation by Kilpatrick.

Given Kilpatrick’s financial status and his present condition — he’s in prison for another 20 years — the city is not likely to see the money for a long time, if ever.

Kilpatrick is serving a 28-year prison sentence in Oklahoma for his 2013 corruption conviction and won’t be eligible for release until 2037. He will be 68.

Add to that, the ex-mayor still owes another $852,000 in restitution to the city of Detroit stemming from the text message scandal that triggered his eventual downfall. His last payment was made in 2013 — the year of his federal racketeering conviction.

Kilpatrick was convicted of running a racket through City Hall, committing extortion, bribery and fraud through a series of pay-to-play schemes that prosecutors say enriched him and his friends. Kilpatrick was originally ordered to pay $4.5 million in restitution, but he successfully challenged the amount, claiming there was no proof he used his job as mayor to enrich himself and friends to the tune of $4.5 million.

Under a court order, the prosecution recommended cutting Kilpatrick’s debt by more than half — from $4.5 million to $1.6 million — after an appeals court ruled that the restitution calculation “was erroneous” and should have been based more on the city’s losses, “rather than on Kilpatrick’s gain.”

Prosecutors then recommended trimming another $116,400 off of Kilpatrick’s restitution tab — a figure that represents what the government would have paid another contractor for a sewer job had the bidding process not been manipulated.

—Detroit Free Press

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