Trump Treasury pick Mnuchin faces committee vote
NEW YORK — Steven Mnuchin could clear a major hurdle Monday toward being confirmed as Treasury secretary.
The Senate Finance Committee is expected to vote at 6 p.m. ET on whether to send Mnuchin’s nomination to the full Senate.
Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs banker and Hollywood movie producer, was one of the last of President Trump’s Cabinet picks to face Congress this month.
At his confirmation hearing Jan. 19, Mnuchin defended his record as a banker. Committee Democrats grilled him over his former bank OneWest, which has been accused of aggressive foreclosures and discriminating against minority borrowers.
Mnuchin insisted that regulators, not the bank, were to blame for a series of foreclosures on widows, military families and other homeowners during the Great Recession.
“Since I was first nominated to serve as Treasury secretary, I have been maligned as taking advantage of others’ hardships in order to earn a buck,” Mnuchin said. “Nothing could be further from the truth.”
He also said Congress should raise the federal government’s borrowing limit, known as the debt ceiling, “sooner rather than later.”
If he’s confirmed, Mnuchin will join four other Cabinet nominees who have cleared committee and are awaiting full votes in the Senate: Rex Tillerson for secretary of state, Elaine Chao for transportation secretary, Ben Carson for housing secretary and Wilbur Ross for commerce secretary.
Defense Secretary James Mattis, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, CIA Director Mike Pompeo and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley were all confirmed in the first few days of Trump’s presidency.