Trump to nominate Russell Vought as budget chief

Trump to nominate Russell Vought as budget chief
© Greg Nash

President TrumpDonald TrumpHeadaches intensify for Democrats in Florida Stormy Daniels set to testify against former lawyer Avenatti in fraud trial Cheney challenger wins Wyoming Republican activists' straw poll 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 MulvaneyTrump's relocation of the Bureau of Land Management was part of a familiar Republican playbook Jan. 6 committee issues latest round of subpoenas for rally organizers The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - To vote or not? Pelosi faces infrastructure decision 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 MeadowsHouse has the power to subpoena its members — but does it have the will? Hannity after Jan. 6 texted McEnany 'no more stolen election talk' in five-point plan for Trump Jan. 6 committee asks Ivanka Trump to sit for interview 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.