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US Senate Expected to Confirm Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary

15 February, 2017, 00:27 | Author: Paula Vaughn
  • Watch Live Stream: Steve Mnuchin Faces Senate Vote

Republicans on the committee broke with protocol and pushed Mnuchin's vote to the Senate floor after a boycott by Democrats.

Democratic leader Sen. Chuck Schumer called the appointment of Mnuchin a "broken promise" by Trump to hold big banks accountable.

Mnuchin's confirmation marks the start of a third straight week of a slow-moving, highly partisan process to fill Trump's cabinet that followed a week of late nights and partisan theatrics in opposition to Trump's cabinet picks.

The Republican-controlled chamber cleared Mnuchin largely along party lines.

The new Treasury Secretary he said will put his skills to work for Americas working families and he will help make America the greatest jobs magnet on the face of the earth.

Mnuchin's confirmation vote was contentious, but far less dramatic and the criticism more muted than with Trump's Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

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Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia was the only Democrat to vote in favour of Mnuchin.

The Senate then voted to confirm David Shulkin as the next secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

"Mr. Mnuchin has 30 years of experience working in a variety of capacities in the financial sector", said Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican. That vote was unanimous. They also questioned whether the bank had done enough new lending to under-served markets after the financial crisis.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., said, "I simply can not forgive somebody who took a look at that banking crisis and took a look at the pain that Wall Street had sent in a wave across all of America, and thought, 'Ah, there's a great new way to make money, foreclosing on people'".

Democrats also complained that Mnuchin failed to disclose almost $100 million in assets on forms he filed with the Senate Finance Committee.

During that hearing, Mnuchin staunchly defended his approach to foreclosures, saying every effort was made to keep people in their homes, but sometimes regulations got in the way of offering more loan modifications. Shulkin, VA undersecretary of health during the Obama administration, is the first VA secretary never to have served in the military. He has ruled out privatizing the department or ordering mass staff replacements.

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