Senate confirms Trump's pick to be deputy Treasury secretary

The Senate on Tuesday confirmed President TrumpDonald John TrumpWarren defends, Buttigieg attacks in debate that shrank the field Five takeaways from the Democratic debate in Ohio Democrats debate in Ohio: Who came out on top? 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 MnuchinThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump grapples with Turkey controversy Trump hypes China trade deal as new doubts emerge Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Trump to slap sanctions on Turkey for Syria offensive | Trump calls on Turkey to broker ceasefire | Pelosi, Graham seek deal on sanctions | Ex-Trump aide testifies in impeachment probe 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-GOP tensions over Syria show signs of easing Trump again vetoes resolution blocking national emergency for border wall Trump invites congressional leaders to meeting on Turkey 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 WydenDemocrats urge Rick Perry not to roll back lightbulb efficiency rules Bipartisan senators want federal plan for sharing more info on supply chain threats PhRMA CEO warns Pelosi bill to lower drug prices would be 'devastating' for industry 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 holds more Medal of Freedom ceremonies than predecessors but awards fewer medals Trump to award Medal of Freedom to former Attorney General Edwin Meese Trump to award racing legend Roger Penske with Presidential Medal of Freedom 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) TesterRed-state Democrats worry impeachment may spin out of control Overnight Energy: Lawmakers show irritation over withheld Interior documents | Republican offers bipartisan carbon tax bill | Scientists booted from EPA panel form new group Senate Democrats hesitant to go all-in on impeachment probe MORE (D-Mont.) have offered a measure to overrule the Treasury guidance that is expected to get a vote this week.