Facing opposition from Democrats and consumer activists, Mnuchin was one of Trump’s most controversial cabinet picks as his résumé and confirmation hearing seemingly ran counter to Trump’s populist campaign message of reining in Wall Street’s influence. The U.S. Senate voted for his confirmation 53-47. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) was the only Democrat voting for the confirmation.
Mnuchin’s path to confirmation was tumultuous. The Senate Finance Committee had been scheduled to vote on Jan. 30 whether to send Mnuchin's nomination to the full Senate. Using a procedural mechanism, Democrats on the committee skipped the hearing.
As Treasury secretary, Mnuchin, 54, will oversee a massive department that runs the federal tax system, pays the nation's bills and produces currency and stamps. As one of Trump’s top advisors, the New York City native will have the president ear in his key economic priorities, including tax reform, rolling back regulations on banks established by the
Democrats criticized the vote outcome. “I am extremely disappointed in Senate Republicans for clearing the way for yet another Wall Street insider to take a critical leadership position in the administration,” said Rep.
Mnuchin, who was involved in the production of films such as Avatar and The
“It has been said that I ran a ‘foreclosure machine,’” Mnuchin said during his confirmation hearing. “This is not true." He also came under fire for initially failing to disclose major financial assets in a federal disclosure statement.
Mnuchin said, if confirmed, he would pursue pro-growth policies that would unleash business investment and boost jobs. He also told lawmakers he would deal impartially with Trump's vast business holdings to ensure there are no conflicts of interest; enforce the toughened economic sanctions imposed on Russia; and would keep the
He also plans to oppose large bank bailouts but support a "21st Century" reintroduction of the Glass-Steagall Act, which prohibited commercial banks from engaging in investment banking.
With the Senate controlled by Republicans, Mnuchin’s confirmation was considered a foregone conclusion.
“He was chosen for the loyalty to the president,”
In supporting Mnuchin’s nomination,
“He has experience managing large and complicated private-sector enterprises and in negotiating difficult compromises and making tough decisions – and being accountable for those decisions," Hatch said.
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