A bitterly divided Senate on Monday confirmed Steven Mnuchin as treasury secretary despite strong objections by Democrats that the former banker ran a “foreclosure machine” when he headed OneWest Bank.
Mnuchin was sworn in Monday night in the Oval Office, where President Donald Trump said Americans should know that “our nation’s financial system is truly in great hands”
Trump hailed Mnuchin as “a financial legend with an incredible track record of success.” He said Mnuchin had spent his entire career making money in the private sector and now will go to work on behalf of the American taxpayer.
Republicans said Mnuchin’s long tenure in finance makes him qualified to run the department, which will play a major role in developing economic policy under President Donald Trump.
“He has experience managing large and complicated private-sector enterprises and in negotiating difficult compromises and making tough decisions — and being accountable for those decisions,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, chairman of the Finance Committee.
Votes on Trump’s Cabinet picks have exposed deep partisan divisions in the Republican-controlled Senate, with many of the nominees approved by mostly party-line votes.
The vote on Mnuchin followed the same pattern. He was confirmed by a mostly party-line vote of 53-47. Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia joined the Republicans.