Senate confirms Trump's pick to be deputy Treasury secretary

The Senate on Tuesday confirmed President TrumpDonald John TrumpProgressive group launches M pro-Biden ad buy targeting young voters Ilhan Omar: GOP response to calls for police reform 'was vicious' White House considers sweeping travel ban on members, families of the Chinese Communist Party: report 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 MnuchinProgressive group launches M pro-Biden ad buy targeting young voters Pelosi signals flexibility on size of renewed unemployment payments The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Argentum - In Rose Garden, Trump launches anti-Biden screed 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 McConnellProgressive group launches M pro-Biden ad buy targeting young voters Pelosi signals flexibility on size of renewed unemployment payments Lincoln Project reports raising .8 million for anti-Trump efforts 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 WydenTrump administration to impose tariffs on French products in response to digital tax Mnuchin: Next stimulus bill must cap jobless benefits at 100 percent of previous income Congress must act now to fix a Social Security COVID-19 glitch and expand, not cut, benefits 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 HatchMellman: Roberts rescues the right? DACA remains in place, but Dreamers still in limbo Bottom line 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) TesterInternal poll shows tight battle in Montana House race Bipartisan Senate group offers bill to strengthen watchdog law after Trump firings Senate confirms Trump's watchdog for coronavirus funds MORE (D-Mont.) have offered a measure to overrule the Treasury guidance that is expected to get a vote this week.