Speed Reads

Trump Cabinet

Senate expected to confirm Steven Mnuchin as treasury secretary Monday night

On Monday, the Senate is expected to confirm two of President Trump's Cabinet nominees, Steven Mnuchin as treasury secretary and David Shulkin to head the Department of Veteran Affairs. The vote on Mnuchin, a former top Goldman Sachs executive and Hollywood financier, will be much closer than Shulkin's confirmation. Republicans argue that Mnuchin is well-qualified to be treasury secretary because of his long experience on Wall Street, while Democrats say that same experience — including the 36,000 homeowners his bank OneWest foreclosed on after the 2008 financial collapse — is a disqualifying stain. They also point to $100 million in assets and a Cayman Islands directorship that Mnuchin said he forgot to include on his financial disclosure forms.

"This treasury nominee is smart, he's capable, and he's got impressive private-sector experience," said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). "We need him confirmed as soon as possible so he can begin to tackle these challenges and reverse the last eight years of economic heartache." Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) disagreed, calling OneWest a "foreclosure machine" with "sleazy and out of line" business practices. "Mr. Mnuchin is the ultimate Wall Street insider," she said. "If Wall Street threatens to blow up the economy again, does anyone seriously expect Mr. Mnuchin to get tough with his old buddies and tell them to knock it off?"

The voting will start at about 7 p.m., and if confirmed, Mnuchin will be the first banker to head the Treasury Department in eight years; former President Barack Obama chose financial regulators to head the agency.