Steven Mnuchin, whose previous roles have included former CEO of OneWest Bank, Wall Street banker and film financier, was confirmed Monday as Treasury secretary, ensuring his place in President Trump’s economic inner circle after a contentious row over his company’s foreclosure practice and failure to disclose overseas business interests.
Facing opposition from Democrats and consumer activists, Mnuchin was one of Trump’s most controversial cabinet picks as his résumé and confirmation hearing seemingly ran counter to Trump’s populist campaign message of reining in Wall Street’s influence. The U.S. Senate voted for his confirmation 53-47. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) was the only Democrat voting for the confirmation.
Mnuchin’s path to confirmation was tumultuous. The Senate Finance Committee had been scheduled to vote on Jan. 30 whether to send Mnuchin's nomination to the full Senate. Using a procedural mechanism, Democrats on the committee skipped the hearing.
As Treasury secretary, Mnuchin, 54, will oversee a massive department that runs the federal tax system, pays the nation's bills and produces currency and stamps. As one of Trump’s top advisors, the New York City native will have the president ear in his key economic priorities, including tax reform, rolling back regulations on banks established by the Dodd-Frank Act, infrastructure project funding and changing or repealing Obamacare. He served as Trump's 2016 national campaign finance chief.