The Senate confirmed Rep. Mick Mulvaney as the new director of the Office of Management and Budget on Thursday morning, allowing the budget process to move forward.
The South Carolina Republican was confirmed by a 51-49 vote, with Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain the only Republican defector. The Arizona senator announced on Wednesday that he could not support Mulvaney’s nomination because of the congressman’s work to cut defense spending.
Democrats opposed Mulvaney’s nomination over some of his fiscal positions, particularly his advocacy for cuts to entitlement programs including Social Security. Mulvaney also revealed through his confirmation process that he failed to pay more than $15,000 in federal payroll taxes for a household employee, though the majority of Republicans did not waver in their support for him.
Senate gridlock over President Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees had slowed Mulvaney’s path to confirmation. His nomination set a record for the longest wait for an OMB nominee to be confirmed.
With Mulvaney now at the helm of the OMB, the administration can kickstart the process of developing its own budget, which it will present to Congress.
The Senate will next move to consider Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s nomination to head the EPA. A confirmation vote for Pruitt is expected on Friday.