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Trump to nominate Russell Vought as budget chief

Trump to nominate Russell Vought as budget chief
© Greg Nash

President TrumpDonald TrumpSt. Louis lawyer who pointed gun at Black Lives Matter protesters considering Senate run Chauvin found guilty as nation exhales US says Iran negotiations are 'positive' MORE on Wednesday signaled plans to formally nominate Russell Vought to serve as the permanent director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Vought has served at the helm of OMB for more than a year in an acting capacity, having taken over for Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyHeadhunters having hard time finding jobs for former Trump officials: report Trump holdovers are denying Social Security benefits to the hardest working Americans Mulvaney calls Trump's comments on Capitol riot 'manifestly false' MORE while he served as the president’s acting chief of staff. Trump earlier this month said he would replace Mulvaney as chief of staff with Rep. Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsBoehner finally calls it as he sees it Stephen Miller launching group to challenge Democrats' policies through lawsuits A year with the coronavirus: How we got here MORE (R-N.C.), one of his closest GOP allies on Capitol Hill.

Trump said Mulvaney would become U.S. special envoy to Northern Ireland. Meadows is expected to transition full time into the chief of staff role over the next few weeks. 

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The White House said Wednesday that Trump plans to nominate Vought as his permanent OMB director.

Vought would have to be confirmed to the position by the Republican-controlled Senate. His nomination comes as the upper chamber is busy working on legislation to address the coronavirus pandemic, and it’s unclear when his nomination process would take place.

Vought has played a leading role in crafting Trump’s annual budget requests, briefing reporters on the fiscal 2021 proposal unveiled in February. He was confirmed by the Senate to serve as Trump’s deputy OMB director in a narrow 50-49 vote in February 2018. Vice President Pence cast the tie-breaking vote for his nomination, which had been complicated by controversial comments he made about Muslims in 2016.

Before joining the Trump administration, Vought served in policy roles on the House Republican Conference and Republican Study Committee. He began his career on Capitol Hill working for then-Texas Republican Sen. Phil Gramm.

Vought has served as acting OMB director since January 2019 in place of Mulvaney, who was technically on leave as OMB director while he served as acting chief of staff.