Policy

Treasury Secretary Confirmed Despite Outrage From Democrats

Banker, Hollywood producer Steven Mnuchin approved after long battle

Steven Mnuchin was confirmed as Treasury secretary Monday evening. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo) 

The Senate continued pushing through President Donald Trump’s Cabinet Monday by backing financier Steven Mnuchin to be secretary of the Treasury, despite howls from Democrats who characterized the producer of such Hollywood fare as “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” as a villain who feasted on unfair foreclosures.

Steve Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs banker and executive producer of films like “Keanu” and “Collateral Beauty” was confirmed to be the next Treasury Secretary with a vote of 53-47.

Democrats strongly opposed Mnuchin, who also served as the finance chairman of Trump’s presidential campaign. They raised concerns about his role as chief executive of OneWest Bank during the home mortgage crisis. But lacking any significant opposition among Republicans, Mnuchin was able to be confirmed.

 

“We are currently in the midst of the longest transitional leadership gap at the Department of the Treasury in our nation’s history. The Senate has never left Treasury without a confirmed Secretary in between administrations for this long,” Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch said ahead of the vote. “These tactics do absolutely nothing to help American families seeking greater opportunities and economic growth. They don’t help us fix our broken tax code, reform our failing healthcare system, and empower businesses and job creators to grow and expand.”

Hatch, a Utah Republican, has been among the loudest advocates for Trump’s agenda.

Much of the Democratic opposition was driven by Mnuchin’s time leading OneWest Bank, a financial institution that critics said had a long track record of predatory lending, particularly regarding foreclosures.

“The American people don’t suffer from the same collective amnesia that Wall Street and its allies in Congress have about how devastating the crisis was to our country,” Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, said. “As the people we represent know, and Mnuchin’s bank proves, when we turn the reins to Wall Street, it’s working families who pay the price.”

Niels Lesniewski contributed to this report.Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.