Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told "Fox News Sunday" that he thought the national debt, which reached a record $23 trillion at the end of 2019, was "very manageable" prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: President Trump promised during the 2016 campaign to reduce the national debt and eliminate it entirely within eight years. Last week, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projected that the debt will exceed 100% of GDP in 2021 and rise to 107% in 2023 — the highest in U.S. history.

  • Even prior to the economic disruptions and subsequent government spending causes by the pandemic, the budget deficit jumped 26% to nearly $1 trillion in late 2019, increasing for the fourth year in a row, the Washington Post reports.
  • The deficit had increased nearly 50% during the pre-pandemic Trump presidency.

What they're saying: "We were having extraordinary growth, we were creating growth that would pay down the debt over time. Unfortunately, this China virus has cost us trillions of dollars and as I've said before, this is like a war. In a war, you've got to spend whatever you need to spend," Mnuchin said.

  • "That's the reason why we've spent $3 trillion. We'd spend another $1 trillion. The speaker just wants to spend unlimited amounts of money."
  • "I think the former vice president, if he were elected, would have socialist economic policies that would take the debt out of control. But there's no question in a second term, once the economy is back, we will focus on this issue."

Go deeper: Where Trump stands on economic promises

Go deeper

House Democrats unveil new $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief proposal

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) Photo: Liz Lynch/Getty Images

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Monday unveiled House Democrats' new $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief proposal.

Why it matters: Negotiations with the Trump administration have stalled since the House passed its $3 trillion HEROES Act in May. The pared-down bill, which is $200 billion smaller than Democrats' most recent proposal, is part of Pelosi's last-ditch effort to strike a deal with the White House.

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
6 hours ago - Economy & Business

Brookings fellow predicts reparations could happen in next 10 years

Thanks to growing momentum and changing attitudes among Americans, Brookings Institution fellow Andre Perry predicts that within 10 years the U.S. will provide some form of reparations to Black people.

What we're hearing: "What's happening in the streets today is indicative of the attitude change that is occurring in America," Perry, a scholar-in-residence at American University and author, said during our interview for "Axios on HBO."

Updated 22 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 33,417,386 — Total deaths: 1,002,864 — Total recoveries: 23,193,238Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 7,150,824 — Total deaths: 205,107 — Total recoveries: 2,794,608 — Total tests: 102,342,416Map.
  3. Health: Americans won't take Trump's word on the vaccine, Axios-Ipsos poll finds.
  4. Media: Fauci: Some of what Fox News reports about COVID-19 is "outlandish"
  5. States: Cuomo extends New York moratorium on evictions until 2021.
  6. World: More than 1 million people have now died from coronavirus — India the second country after U.S. to hit 6 million cases.