Former Goldman Sachs partner, hedge-fund founder, and producer of the Entourage movie, Steve Mnuchin was confirmed by the Senate Monday night as the next United States secretary of the Treasury. "With him, we're going to have no problem, believe me".
Republicans stood firm in their defense of Mnuchin while decrying Democratic efforts to slow the confirmation process.
During the ceremony at the White House, President Donald Trump called Mnuchin "a financial legend with an incredible track record of success" who would now work for the American taxpayer.
In keeping with other votes on Trump's nominees, Mnuchin's confirmation fell nearly cleanly along party lines, with a 53-47 final tally. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, voted for Mnuchin.
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.
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The Senate today also unanimously confirmed David Shulkin as secretary of veterans affairs, putting the only holdover from the Obama administration in charge of the second largest federal agency. Mnuchin, known to most Americans as the man who foreclosed on thousands of people's homes in the wake of the crash, also failed to reveal his position as a director of an investment fund here in the Cayman Islands.
"It's been really disappointing to see the historic level of obstruction by Senate Democrats", Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Monday on the Senate floor.
However, Democrats decried Mnuchin's business strategies while in private sector. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. "OneWest was notorious for taking an especially aggressive role in foreclosing on struggling homeowners". In addition to having a 17-year career at Goldman Sachs (during which he played a major role in causing the 2008 economic collapse), Mnuchin is perhaps best known for purchasing the California bank IndyMac in 2009, which he promptly renamed OneWest Bank.
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'". McMahon, the billionaire chief executive officer of World Wrestling Entertainment, was approved in committee after a short hearing and was expected to be easily confirmed after an hour-long debate.