U.S.Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announces measures taken to maximize pressure on North Korea to abandon its weapons programs during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, June 29, 2017.
U.S.Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announces measures taken to maximize pressure on North Korea to abandon its weapons programs during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, June 29, 2017.

WASHINGTON - U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Wednesday urged federal lawmakers to raise the federal debt limit before they leave Washington for their August recess to avoid increased interest costs to taxpayers and market uncertainty about a potential default.

Mnuchin told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee that maintaining U.S. creditworthiness was of "utmost importance" and that the United States must pay its bills on time.

"As I've suggested in the past, based upon our best estimate at the time, we do have funding through September, but I have urged Congress to take this up before they leave for the recess," Mnuchin said.