Mnuchin: I did not run a foreclosure machine
The Senate confirmed Steven Mnuchin as Treasury secretary in a vote Monday evening, adding the former Goldman Sachs executive to President Donald Trump’s Cabinet.
The 53-47 vote, which fell largely along party lines, makes Mnuchin the 10th of Trump’s Cabinet nominees to be confirmed in three weeks. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) was the only Democrat to support the nomination. No Republican voted against Mnuchin.
David Shulkin, Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs, was also confirmed Monday night by a vote of 100-0.
Like several Treasury secretaries before him, Mnuchin pursued a career on Wall Street as a Goldman Sachs banker and later as chief executive at OneWest Bank, which faced criticism for foreclosing on more than 36,000 homeowners after it was acquired by his investor group, according to Fortune.
Though experience on Wall Street has been common in the Treasury Department, Goldman Sachs in particular has nurtured those at its helm. The bank’s former co-chairman Robert Rubin took the Treasury Department’s reins in 1995, and Goldman Sachs CEO Henry Paulson Jr., under President George W. Bush, was nominated to the job in 2006.
Democrats in the Senate attacked Mnuchin’s Wall Street record, but the former financier’s confirmation battle was notably less confrontational than those of his fellow Cabinet secretaries.
Betsy DeVos, who was confirmed as secretary of education earlier this month, faced heated protests and a rocky committee hearing that led to the narrowest confirmation for a Cabinet secretary in Senate history. Vice President Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking vote to secure DeVos’ confirmation.
Mnuchin’s confirmation also clears the way for additional hearings on the remainder of Trump’s Cabinet picks. Trump’s nominee to lead the Labor Department, Andrew Puzder, is expected to face a confirmation hearing Thursday.