The Treasury Department said Thursday that Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinMnuchin wants to know how consumer bureau is handling Equifax breach Overnight Finance: Senators near two-year budget deal | Trump would ‘love to see a shutdown’ over immigration | Dow closes nearly 600 points higher after volatile day | Trade deficit at highest level since 2008 | Pawlenty leaving Wall Street group The Hill’s 12:30 Report MORE was not breaking with President TrumpDonald John TrumpTillerson: Russia already looking to interfere in 2018 midterms Dems pick up deep-red legislative seat in Missouri Speier on Trump’s desire for military parade: ‘We have a Napoleon in the making’ MORE on guns during an exchange with Rep. John LewisJohn LewisBlack Dems take lead in push to impeach Trump Fox’s Wallace: ‘It’s a mistake’ for Dems to boycott State of the Union WHIP LIST: Dems boycotting Trump’s State of the Union MORE (D-Ga.) at a hearing earlier in the day.
“Secretary Mnuchin was directly addressing Congressman Lewis’ question about availability of funds in the budget to address the issue of gun violence,” said Treasury spokesman Tony Sayegh. “He also reflected the feelings shared by all Americans that yesterday’s school shooting was a profound tragedy.”
At the hearing, after Lewis asked Mnuchin about the budget and gun violence, Mnuchin said, “Personally I think the gun violence — It’s a tragedy what we’ve seen yesterday, and I urge Congress to look at these issues.”
The comments garnered attention because Trump has touted gun owners’ rights in the past and did not mention gun-control legislation in his remarks Thursday about the shooting that occurred at a South Florida high school the day before.
In the exchange with Lewis, Mnuchin said he has “vast responsibilities as Treasury secretary but this is out of my lane of responsibility.”
Lewis said that the government “must do better” to address gun violence.
“We have to save our children, our citizens, our teachers,” the congressman said.
Mnuchin told Lewis, “I appreciate the severity and the tragedy and I will speak to the president and the other Cabinet members.”
Seventeen people on Wednesday were killed in the Florida shooting.
Authorities later identified the suspected shooter as 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz.
This story was updated at 2:25 p.m. to reflect the Treasury Department’s statement.
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