Senate confirms Trump's pick to be deputy Treasury secretary

The Senate on Tuesday confirmed President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump: 'I will not let Iran have nuclear weapons' Rocket attack hits Baghdad's Green Zone amid escalating tensions: reports Buttigieg on Trump tweets: 'I don't care' 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 MnuchinWhite House encouraging investment in Middle East as part of peace plan Trump, China and trade: Who blinks first? On The Money: Treasury rejects Dem subpoena for Trump tax returns | Companies warn trade war about to hit consumers | Congress, White House to launch budget talks next week | Trump gets deal to lift steel tariffs on Mexico, Canada 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 McConnellBolton emerges as flashpoint in GOP debate on Iran On The Money: Treasury rejects Dem subpoena for Trump tax returns | Companies warn trade war about to hit consumers | Congress, White House to launch budget talks next week | Trump gets deal to lift steel tariffs on Mexico, Canada Schumer calls on McConnell to hold vote on Equality Act 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 WydenOregon man sentenced after threatening to chop off Dem senator's tongue House to vote on retirement bill next week Hillicon Valley: Trump signs order to protect US networks from Chinese tech | Huawei downplays order | Trump declines to join effort against online extremism | Facebook restricts livestreaming | FCC proposes new tool against robocalls 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 gambles in push for drug import proposal Biden's role in Anita Hill hearings defended by witness not allowed to testify 'Congress' worst tax idea ever'? Hardly. 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) TesterGOP angst grows amid Trump trade war Overnight Defense — Presented by Huntington Ingalls Industries — Pentagon approves transfer of .5B to border wall | Dems blast move | House Dem pushes Pelosi to sue over Trump's Yemen veto Pentagon approves transfer of .5B to Trump border wall from Afghan forces, other accounts MORE (D-Mont.) have offered a measure to overrule the Treasury guidance that is expected to get a vote this week.