Senate Confirms Mulvaney as OMB Director Despite McCain’s Opposition

The Senate on Thursday voted 51-49 to confirm Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) to lead President Donald Trump’s Office of Management and Budget.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was the lone Republican to join all 48 Democrats in voting against Mulvaney, a hard-line conservative and founding member of the House Freedom Caucus. There was some initial confusion over McCain’s vote, with the clerk recording an “aye” vote before changing it to “no” moments later.

McCain, who’s chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has been a fierce critic of Mulvaney’s nomination, rebuking the South Carolina Republican’s support for cutting defense spending and for his vote to withdraw all U.S. troops from Afghanistan.

The vote margin was the second smallest for Trump’s nominees who have been confirmed; Vice President Mike Pence was needed to break the tie on Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ nomination.

Mulvaney’s confirmation leaves open his safely Republican 5th District seat.

Republican operatives say the top three contenders for the seat so far are former South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Chad Connelly, state Speaker Pro Tempore Tommy Pope and state Rep. Ralph Norman.

Connelly, who operatives say is close to Mulvaney and Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), announced his candidacy on Monday. Pope announced his candidacy earlier this month, and Norman committed to running in December.

Other candidates who have entered the race include Sherri Few, Tom Mulliken and Kris Wampler.



A previous version of this story misstated when Pope announced he was running.


Washington Brief: Trump Tax Plan to Slash Business Rates, Boost Deductions for Individuals

President Donald Trump today is scheduled to outline the pillars of his plan to rewrite the U.S. tax code, with provisions such as lowering the rate for pass-through businesses to 15 percent from 39.6 percent and cutting the corporate rate. He’s not expected to endorse the border adjustment tax sought by House GOP leaders, but he plans to include a tax break for child-care expenses, viewed as a possible sweetener for Democrats.

Washington Brief: Week in Review & What’s Ahead

Congress has until midnight on April 28 to pass a spending bill that would keep the government open. While many lawmakers are hoping the funding measure will extend through the remainder of the fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30, there is also talk of passing a short-term extension in order to buy more time to negotiate a deal that extends through September.

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