Sen. Kevin Cramer praises House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on debt ceiling


Republican Sen. Kevin Cramer praised House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s work on the debt ceiling, telling CNBC on Friday that the final deal “doesn’t need to be perfect.”

“I’ve been pretty impressed with the way Speaker Pelosi has negotiated with Secretary Mnuchin in the past week or two. She seems to want a deal as much as the president wants a deal, and she should. Good politics is good for all players,” Cramer said on “Squawk Box. “

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC on Thursday he was confident the Trump administration and congressional leaders would reach an agreement before the U.S. defaults on its debts. Mnuchin has said it’s possible the federal government will reach the debt ceiling by early September.

Cramer, who defeated Democrat Heidi Heitkamp in the 2018 Senate race in North Dakota, said Pelosi has a complicated job and that this is the type of negotiation where leaders must find common ground. He said a successful deal would be positive for House Democrats and President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign.

“It doesn’t need to be perfect. Politics is the art of the doable,” Cramer said.

However, as Cramer was speaking, Bloomberg News was reporting Friday that Pelosi is rejecting the White House’s most recent debt-ceiling proposal. Cramer said he thought the proposal, which involved giving a menu of options for Pelosi to choose from to reach $150 billion in spending cuts, “seems like a reasonable approach.”

With lawmakers set to leave for their August recess next week, both sides have been negotiating on reaching future spending limits and a longer-term agreement on continuing to give the government the authority to borrow.

Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, told CNBC she thinks Congress and the administration will get a deal done in time but at too big of a cost.

“What I am more concerned about at this point is we will raise the debt ceiling, but we will do so alongside some very fiscally irresponsible policies and actually make the situation worse,” Macguineas said Friday on “Squawk on the Street.”

The Treasury has been using a series of “extraordinary measures” to keep the government running while the spending impasse continues.

— CNBC’s Jeff Cox contributed to this report.

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