The Senate confirmed President Donald Trump's nominee to head the Department of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, Monday. "With him, we're going to have no problem, believe me".
"Mr. Mnuchin has 30 years of experience working in a variety of capacities in the financial sector", said Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican.
The Senate cleared Mnuchin earlier Monday evening on a 53-47 vote, after staunch Democratic opposition to his confirmation. Later that night, at the White House swearing-in ceremony, President Trump vowed that Mnuchin would be a "great champion" for Americans.
Mnuchin is expected to help Trump deliver on his pledge for a major tax reform, as well as play a key role in sanctions against foreign states, groups and individuals. Senator Debbie Stabenow of MI said: "Mr. Mnuchin has made his career profiting from the misfortunes of working people".
Hours before the new secretary was sworn in, the U.S. Treasury sanctioned Tareck El Aissami, who became Venezuela's Vice President last month, for being a leading actor - "kingpin" - in worldwide narcotics trade, freezing his assets in the U.S. and barring Americans from doing business with him.
Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia voted for Mnuchin.
Schumer and other Democrats sharply criticized Trump's Cabinet picks at a press conference held shortly before the Mnuchin vote where they unveiled a video featuring promises Trump made on the campaign trail to take on Wall Street and protect average Americans.
Mnuchin's appointment to Treasury signals the Trump administration's trust in bankers and other senior business executives after Democrat Barack Obama launched his presidency with career regulator Timothy Geithner running Treasury and a mandate to rein in Wall Street for its role in the 2007-2009 financial crisis.
Mnuchin has said he had worked hard during the financial crisis to assist homeowners with refinancing so that they could remain in their homes. GOP chair won't seek Trump tax returns Senate confirms Mnuchin as Treasury secretary MORE (D-W.Va.) was the only member of his party to side with Republicans and vote in favor of Mnuchin's confirmation.
Instead, all eyes are on Labor nominee Andrew Puzder, who will come up for a confirmation hearing Thursday, nearly one week after revelations that he had hired an undocumented worker to do housework for him.