Published: Fri, February 17, 2017
USA | By Cassandra Hanson

Senate to confirm Trump budget chief

The Senate on Thursday voted 51-49 to confirm Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) to lead President Donald Trump's Office of Management and Budget.

Mick Mulvaney, a tea party lawmaker from SC, is set for a narrow confirmation to the budget office on Thursday despite opposition from Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was the lone Republican to join all 48 Democrats in voting against Mulvaney, a hard-line conservative and founding member of the House Freedom Caucus.

The first test will come in the weeks ahead as Mulvaney oversees completion of the fiscal 2018 federal budget, which in a president's first year in office is typically more of a bare-bones blueprint.

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"I will vote to oppose Congressman Mulvaney's nomination because it would be irresponsible to place the future of the defense budget in the hands of a person with such a record and judgment on national security", McCain said.

The South Carolina lawmaker has been outspoken about his support for reeling in entitlement programs that threaten to swallow the federal budget, and has also defended the 2011 budget caps that imposed severe spending limits on both domestic and defense spending. And on Tuesday, McCain told reporters outside the Senate's GOP policy lunch that he was leaning toward opposing Mulvaney but hadn't made a final decision. "He authorized and supported amendments to cut national defense funding year after year after year".

"(Mulvaney) understands the top priority of the federal government is to defend our nation", Graham said Thursday.

He added, "And this record can not be ignored in light of the significant authority exercised by the Director of OMB over the federal budget". "It's not about one Cabinet position". This is not personal.

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