Treasury Secretary Sworn in After Unusually Close Vote

One Democrat joined GOP in voting to confirm Steven Mnuchin
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2017 12:21 AM CST
Sole Democrat Breaks Ranks to Confirm Treasury Secretary
President Trump congratulates Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin after he was sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence, Monday, Feb. 13, 2017.   (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Former Goldman Sachs exec Steven Mnuchin was sworn in as Treasury secretary Monday night after being confirmed by an unusually close Senate vote. The vote was 53-47, with West Virginia's Sen. Joe Manchin breaking ranks to become the only Democrat voting to confirm, the Hill reports. Other Democrats fiercely opposed the nomination, with the Democratic National Committee accusing him of being a "foreclosure machine" as head of OneWest Bank from 2009 to 2015. "When millions of American families were losing their jobs, homes, savings, pensions, and hope, Steven Mnuchin was making a fortune off their misery," interim DNC Chairwoman Donna Brazile said in a statement.

The lack of bipartisan support for a Treasury secretary was highly unusual, reports the Wall Street Journal, which notes that Mnuchin, who served as Trump's campaign finance chairman, now has an extremely busy agenda that includes advancing Trump's plans for changing the tax code and boosting economic growth. Politico reports that in a much less contentious move Monday, the Senate voted 100-0 to confirm David Shulkin as Veterans Affairs secretary. Shulkin, VA undersecretary of health during the Obama administration, is the first VA secretary never to have served in the military. During his confirmation hearings, he vowed that the department would not be privatized under his watch. (More Steven Mnuchin stories.)

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