US Economy in 'Great Hands' With Mnuchin Confirmed as Treasury Secretary

Feb 15, 2017, 00:31
US Economy in 'Great Hands' With Mnuchin Confirmed as Treasury Secretary

Democrats boycotted a vote on Mnuchin's confirmation in a Senate committee and have demanded that the vote before the full Senate be delayed as long as possible.

Vice President Mike PenceMike (Michael) Richard PenceTrump celebrates Mnuchin at swearing in Colorado Republican: If Flynn misled Trump "he should step down" DOJ warned Flynn could be vulnerable to blackmail: report MORE administered the oath of office to Mnuchin during Monday's ceremony.

Because Democrats have only 48 senators, including two independents, they have no ability to block any of Trump's nominees without the support of Republicans.

The Senate cleared Mnuchin earlier Monday evening on a 53-47 vote, after staunch Democratic opposition to his confirmation.

Treasury and White House representatives did not respond to requests for comment late on Sunday on a Bloomberg report that Trump would soon nominate David Malpass, a former economist at failed Wall Street bank Bear Stearns, as Treasury undersecretary for global affairs. Joe Manchin, W. Va., was the lone Democrat to join all Republicans in supporting Mnuchin.

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Eli Miller, Chief Operating Officer of the Trump campaign, left, with Steve Mnuchin, national finance chairman for the Trump campaign, arriving at Trump Tower, in New York City, Nov. 29, 2016. The vote was unanimous.

During a long debate over Mnuchin's credentials, Democrats argued that Mnuchin's experience on Wall Street exemplified corporate malpractice that led to the 2008 financial crisis.

In 2009, Mnuchin assembled a group of investors to buy the failed IndyMac bank, whose collapse the year before was the second biggest bank failure of the financial crisis. "Here's a great new way to make money foreclosing on people, '" Sen.

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'". Some also objected that Mnuchin - whose net worth is reportedly close to half a billion dollars - initially failed to report about $100 million of his wealth in his disclosures, saying he did so on the advice of legal counsel. Shulkin, a physician, was deputy VA secretary under President Barack Obama and is the only holdover from that administration.