GOP lawmaker calls Steve Mnuchin performance "incredibly poor"

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin's appearance at the House GOP Conference meeting Friday flopped with some members, as he pleaded with them to vote in favor of a comprehensive bill to raise the debt ceiling for three months.

"He said, 'Vote for the debt ceiling for me.' That did not go well in the room at all. Those were his exact words. Because most likely his performance was incredibly poor," said Rep. Mark Walker, R-North Carolina, the chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee. "You could hear the murmurs in the room there."

Asked if anyone booed inside of the meeting, Walker said, "There was some hissing, I don't know if there was booing. There were groans I'll put it that way." 

"There was a part of it if it wasn't so serious, it would have kind of been funny," said Rep. Ryan Costello, R-Pennsylania.

Mnuchin attended the closed-door meeting with Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, a former House Republican, to pitch the legislation to skeptical House Republicans. The bill, which came to fruition after President Trump sided with Democrats, also included a three-month extension of government funding and emergency funding for the Hurricane Harvey relief effort. At the time of the meeting, the measure was expected to pass -- and it did later Friday morning, but without the support of 90 Republicans. The Treasury secretary didn't answer a question about what will happen to the debt ceiling in December.  

Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows, R-North Carolina, wouldn't say if Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, is doing a good job.

"I think that obviously results speak for themselves and that's what we're waiting on. Everybody is waiting on results," Meadows said. "If the speaker produces results with his conference he'll get an A."

Republicans largely felt alienated this week after the president agreed to a proposal from Democrats to suspend the debt limit for three months instead of something more long-term like 18 months.

"They got an earful about that and a lot of concerns expressed about the package today. But at the end of the day they both did well," Rep. Tom Cole, R-Oklahoma, said.

The House passed the measure 316-90 on Friday and the Senate overwhelmingly passed it a day earlier. It now heads to the president's desk for his signature. 

CBS News' Alan He contributed to this report. 

  • Rebecca Shabad

    Rebecca Shabad is a video reporter for CBS News Digital.