Senate confirms Trump's pick to be deputy Treasury secretary

The Senate on Tuesday confirmed President TrumpDonald John TrumpCoast Guard chief: 'Unacceptable' that service members must rely on food pantries, donations amid shutdown Dem lawmaker apologizes after saying it's never been legal in US to force people to work for free Grassley to hold drug pricing hearing 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 MnuchinOvernight Health Care: HHS chief refuses to testify on family separations | Grassley to test GOP on lowering drug prices | PhRMA spends record on lobbying in 2018 HHS chief refuses to testify on child separation policy Conservative groups press Trump to reduce capital gains taxes 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 McConnellBudowsky: Pelosi can break shutdown stalemate GOP seeks to change narrative in shutdown fight On The Money: Shutdown Day 32 | Senate to vote on dueling funding measures | GOP looks to change narrative | Dems press Trump on recalled workers | Kudlow predicts economy will 'snap back' after shutdown 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 WydenSenate Dems introduce bill to keep DACA info private Congress should elevate those trapped in the gap – support ELEVATE Act IRS shutdown plan fails to quell worries 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 HatchPhRMA CEO 'hopeful' Trump officials will back down on drug pricing move Live coverage: Trump AG pick grilled on Mueller probe at confirmation hearing Trump praises RNC chairwoman after she criticizes her uncle Mitt Romney 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) TesterCentrist efforts to convince Trump to end shutdown falter Dems offer measure to raise minimum wage to per hour Some Senate Dems see Ocasio-Cortez as weak spokeswoman for party MORE (D-Mont.) have offered a measure to overrule the Treasury guidance that is expected to get a vote this week.