Rep. Mick Mulvaney’s nomination to be White House budget director is ready for the Senate floor after being approved by two committees Thursday.
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the Senate Budget Committee approved President Donald Trump’s OMB pick on party-line votes.
Mulvaney’s confirmation appears likely despite his admission that he failed to pay $15,000 in taxes for his children’s nanny for several years — an oversight he said was made because he did not view the woman as a household employee but as a babysitter.
Democrats have also criticized Mulvaney, a founding member of the hard-line House Freedom Caucus, for supporting controversial revamps of Social Security and Medicare, and for his past budget brinkmanship.
“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… who ever thinks it’s a good idea to default on our obligations… who has demonstrated a willingness to not fund our military to the extent that we must fund it in order to protect our nation… who has made his career about dismantling Medicare,” said Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), the top Democrat on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
Some defense hawks are also wary of Mulvaney because of his votes to cut Pentagon spending and withdraw troops from Afghanistan.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) voted to send the nomination to the full Senate Thursday, but he has said he is still undecided on whether he will vote for him on the floor — raising the prospect that Mulvaney will squeak by with the support of 51 senators if Democrats unanimously oppose the South Carolina Republican.
“I continue to have concerns with his nomination,” McCain said. “I will continue to weigh all the facts.”