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: Week in Review & What’s Ahead

President Donald Trump defended his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., after it was revealed that in June 2016 he met with a Russian lawyer who has ties to the Kremlin. The meeting came after he was led to believe the lawyer would provide damaging information about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and that the information was part of the Russian government’s effort to assist his father’s presidential campaign. The meeting included a Russian-American lawyer who’s a former Russian intelligence officer

Washington Brief: Trump Says He Didn’t Learn of Son’s Meeting With Russian Lawyer Until This Week

President Donald Trump said he did not hear “until a couple of days ago” about a June 2016 meeting between his son, Donald Trump Jr., and a Russian lawyer who might have had damaging information on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. He also said he spent more than 20 minutes of his two-hour meeting last week with Russian President Vladimir Putin pressing him on election meddling.

Washington Brief: Week in Review & What’s Ahead

The Supreme Court allowed part of President Donald Trump’s travel ban to take effect, while saying the temporary restrictions could not be imposed on people who have a “bona fide relationship” with a person or entity in the United States. Hawaii brought forth a legal challenge that asked a federal judge to clarify whether the Department of Homeland Security violated the Supreme Court’s instructions regarding which family members qualify as having bona fide relationships.

Load More