Senate confirms Trump's pick to be deputy Treasury secretary

The Senate on Tuesday confirmed President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump pushes back on recent polling data, says internal numbers are 'strongest we've had so far' Illinois state lawmaker apologizes for photos depicting mock assassination of Trump Scaramucci assembling team of former Cabinet members to speak out against Trump MORE’s nominee for deputy Treasury secretary after a key Democrat lifted a hold on the nomination.

The nominee, Justin Muzinich, was confirmed by a largely party-line vote of 55-44.

Muzinich will be the first person to serve as the Senate-confirmed deputy Treasury secretary in the Trump administration. The position is the No. 2 job in the department.

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Muzinich has worked at Treasury since early 2017, serving as a counselor to Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinPelosi warns Mnuchin to stop 'illegal' .3B cut to foreign aid Trump phoned bank CEOs as stock market plunged Wednesday: report The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy MORE. He played a key role in the tax-cut law Trump signed last year.

Republicans have praised Muzinich for his work on the tax law.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellTrump faces crucial decisions on economy, guns Are Democrats turning Trump-like? House Democrat calls for gun control: Cities can ban plastic straws but 'we can't ban assault weapons?' MORE (R-Ky.) on Monday called Muzinich “well-qualified” and said it’s important for Treasury to have a deputy secretary as it implements the new tax law and develops foreign sanctions.

After the Senate Finance Committee advanced Muzinich’s nomination over the summer, the committee’s ranking member, Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenWyden blasts FEC Republicans for blocking probe into NRA over possible Russia donations Wyden calls for end to political ad targeting on Facebook, Google Ex-CIA chief worries campaigns falling short on cybersecurity MORE (D-Ore.), placed a hold on it. He had put holds on several Treasury nominees because he felt that Treasury had been “stonewalling” Democrats’ requests for information.

Late last month, Wyden announced he was lifting his hold on Muzinich and another Treasury nominee. He said that working with Finance Committee Chairman Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchTrump to award racing legend Roger Penske with Presidential Medal of Freedom Trump awards Presidential Medal of Freedom to economist, former Reagan adviser Arthur Laffer Second ex-Senate staffer charged in aiding doxxing of GOP senators MORE (R-Utah), he reached an agreement under which Treasury has cooperated on several of his information requests.

While Wyden lifted the hold, he and other Democrats, who all opposed the 2017 tax law, largely voted against Muzinich’s nomination.

Wyden on Monday criticized Muzinich for saying during his confirmation hearing that the tax cuts will pay for themselves — a claim that has been made by many Republican lawmakers but that many economic analysts across the ideological spectrum say is inaccurate.

“In claiming … that the Trump tax handouts will pay for themselves, he’s failed on that issue by $1.5 trillion. I am not going to support a nominee for this position who is going to bring unicorn and rainbow fantasies to tax policy,” Wyden said.

Wyden also criticized Muzinich for defending Treasury Department guidance that reduces the amount of information that certain tax-exempt groups have to disclose on annual forms to the IRS. Muzinich said that the goal of the guidance was to make tax administration more efficient, but Wyden and other Democrats are worried that the guidance will make it easier for foreign governments to influence U.S. politics.

Wyden and Sen. Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterNative American advocates question 2020 Democrats' commitment House Democrats targeting six more Trump districts for 2020 Budget deal sparks scramble to prevent shutdown MORE (D-Mont.) have offered a measure to overrule the Treasury guidance that is expected to get a vote this week.