WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate on Thursday confirmed President Trump's pick to run the White House budget office, giving the Republicans' tea party wing a voice in the Cabinet.
Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., squeaked through on a 51-49 vote in the Republican-controlled Senate.
Mulvaney's confirmation promises to accelerate work on Trump's upcoming budget plan, which is overdue. That's typical at the beginning of an administration.
Mulvaney brings strong conservative credentials to the job, and he's likely to seek big cuts to longtime GOP targets such as the EPA and other domestic programs whose budgets are set each year by Congress.
Trump has indicated, however, that he not interested in tackling highly popular benefit programs such as Social Security and Medicare and wants a major investment in highways and other public works. The House Freedom Caucus, a group of the most conservative lawmakers on Capitol Hill, issued a statement saying that the president's pick of Mulvaney "sends a strong message that the Trump administration is serious about tackling our national debt."
Democrats opposed Mulvaney over his support for curbing the growth of Medicare and Social Security and other issues.
Mulvaney has managed to survive questions about his failure to pay more than $15,000 in payroll taxes for a nanny more than decade ago. He has since paid the taxes.