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Mnuchin says people are misunderstanding Fed funding decision, there’s plenty of firepower left

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin moved Friday to downplay his department’s decision to pull the plug on several Federal Reserve, saying there’s still plenty of money around to provide funding where it is needed.

“This was a very simple thing. We’re following the intent of Congress,” Mnuchin told CNBC’s Jim Cramer during a “Squawk on the Street interview.

After working throughout the year on a series of lending and market liquidity programs, the Treasury and Fed found themselves at odds Thursday after Mnuchin said Treasury would not be seeking to extend a handful of lending programs instituted during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.

Funding for the programs is set to expire at the end of the year. They cover corporate bond buying, loans to state and local governments and the Main Street Lending Program to small- and medium-sized businesses. The Fed said it wanted the programs extended.

“This is not a political issue. This is very simple,” Mnuchin said.

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