The U.S. Senate on Thursday narrowly confirmed South Carolina’s U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney to be President Trump’s new director of the White House Office of Management and Budget.
Mulvaney was confirmed in a tight 51-49 vote as all Democrats and one Republican — U.S. Sen. John McCain — voiced concerns over Mulvaney’s history as a deficit hawk.
“Congressman Mulvaney’s positions on these vital issues are out of step with American values (and) out of mainstream with American popular opinion,” U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-CT, said during debate on the nomination Wednesday.
Since his election in 2010, Mulvaney has built a reputation as one of the House’s most fiscal conservative members, often calling for reforms and slowing growth in entitlement programs to reduce a burgeoning federal deficit. But he has also targeted budget areas like the military where even fellow Republicans had been hesitant to cut during the Obama Administration.
Democrats opposed Mulvaney over his positions to scale back Medicare and Social Security and his refusal to automatically increase the federal debt limit without budget cuts in 2011, which briefly shut down the government.
Mulvaney’s nomination hit a snag last month after his vetting led to the revelation he had failed to pay more than $15,000 in payroll taxes for a nanny back before he entered politics. Mulvaney said he had not been aware the woman was supposed to be considered an in-house employee for tax reason and has since paid the taxes.