Mulvaney reaches final OMB confirmation hurdle

Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), President Donald Trump’s pick to run the Office of Management and Budget, heads to a full Senate vote after getting the green light from two committees Thursday.

The Senate Budget and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committees voted along party lines to send Mulvaney’s nomination to a full Senate vote. The Democratic bloc of senators voiced strong opposition against Mulvaney for his House vote in favor of the 2013 government shutdown.

“I don’t think anybody should be running the Office of Management and Budget who has ever thought it was a good idea to shut down the government,” said HSGAC Ranking Member Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.).

Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) told the committee that as a former New Hampshire governor during the 2013 shutdown, she couldn’t vote for someone who voted in favor of it.

“His support of the concept of government shutdown as a way of expressing his partisan beliefs shows he cannot be trusted to implement the federal budget with an objective, non-ideological and non-partisan approach,” Hassan said.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) voted in favor of a full Senate vote, but expressed some reservations about Mulvaney’s record on defense spending.

“President Trump has correctly stated that repealing the Defense sequester and rebuilding our military are top priorities. Given Congressman Mulvaney’s record on defense spending, including his vote to withdraw all force from Afghanistan, I continue to have concerns about his nomination to be OMB director,” McCain said.

In a truncated Senate Budget vote, Ranking Member Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) vociferously spoke out against Mulvaney, while committee Chairman Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) said he supports Mulvaney to lead the upcoming federal budget process.

“We need an OMB director in place with so many pressing budgetary issues requiring the attention of the new administration,” Enzi said in a statement immediately following the vote. “I look forward to his prominent voice arguing for fiscal restraint, balanced budgets and honest budgeting.”

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