Senate kicks final vote on Mnuchin to Monday, tees up Trump’s VA pick

Greg Nash

The Senate is kicking a final vote on Steven Mnuchin’s nomination to lead the Treasury Department to next week, avoiding a rare Saturday morning vote. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) announced the schedule change from the Senate floor just before senators voted largely along party lines to move forward with Mnuchin’s nomination. 
Democrats don’t have the ability to block President Trump’s nominees on their own. Only a simple majority is needed to confirm Cabinet nominees, and Republicans have 52 seats.
But they could have forced a rare weekend session and delayed a final vote on the longtime Goldman Sachs executive until approximately 8 a.m. Saturday. Under Senate rules, any one senator can object to a deal to speed up votes.
{mosads}Instead, senators will have up to seven hours to debate Mnuchin’s nomination on Monday, setting up a final vote for 7 p.m. 
The announcement comes after senators signaled on Thursday that, while the details weren’t locked down, they expected that they would ultimately avoid the Saturday vote. 
Sen. John Cornyn (Texas) — the Senate’s No. 2 Republican — told reporters that while under “regular order” senators would stay in through part of the weekend, “if experience is any indicator, we’ll come to some agreement to shorten that. We just don’t know yet.” 
Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) separately told The Hill on Thursday afternoon, “I don’t think we’ll be in this weekend.”
McConnell also set up votes on two noncontroversial Trump nominees, which could give senators a brief respite from the all-night marathons sparked by a slate of more contentious picks this week.
On Monday the Senate will vote on David Shulkin to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs. He is currently the agency’s undersecretary of health. Shulkin cleared the Veterans Affairs Committee unanimously earlier this week. 
Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) praised Shulkin after he cleared the committee, predicting he would breeze through the full chamber.
“I believe Dr. Shulkin’s bipartisan support from the committee is indicative of the vote he’ll receive on the Senate floor, and I am calling on Senate leaders to confirm him in a timely fashion,” he said in a statement.
On Tuesday, the Senate will vote on Linda McMahon’s nomination to lead the Small Business Administration. 
Tags Bob Corker John Cornyn Jon Tester Mitch McConnell

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