Steven Mnuchin Is Confirmed as Treasury Secretary
Donald Trump’s campaign-finance chief will shape early moves on tax, regulation and currency policy.
The Senate confirmed financier Steven Mnuchin as the next Treasury secretary in a 53-47 vote Monday evening, placing him in a leading position to advance President Donald Trump’s plans to revamp financial regulation and the U.S. tax code. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia was the only Democrat to join with all of the Senate’s Republicans to approve the nomination of Mr. Mnuchin, who was sworn in on Monday night. Mr. Mnuchin, who served as Mr. Trump’s campaign-finance chairman last year, spent 17 years at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. before leaving in 2002 to work in the hedge-fund industry. He co-founded Dune Capital Management LP and expanded into the entertainment business, financing Hollywood movies. Mr. Mnuchin’s role buying and rehabilitating the failed IndyMac Bank, later rebranded OneWest Bank, became a key focus of his confirmation battle. He and Republican backers said the financial-crisis era acquisition from the U.S. government demonstrated his business savvy.
Democrats opposed Mr. Mnuchin, 54 years old, citing the bank’s involvement moving thousands of defaulted mortgages through foreclosure. They also questioned whether the bank had done enough new lending to under-served markets after the financial crisis. “A president’s cabinet provides insight into how they’ll govern and what their priorities will be. The president has shown his hand by selecting the most anti-working-class cabinet that we have ever seen,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) on the Senate floor Monday. The delay between presidential administrations in filling the Treasury post was the longest in the nation’s history, said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R., Utah). “None of the allegations my colleagues have raised can stand even a modest amount of scrutiny,” he said.
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