The South Carolina con­gress­man co-founded the House Free­dom Cau­cus.

The Denver Post - - FRONT PAGE - By Hope Yen

washington» Republican Rep. Mick Mul­vaney, Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump’s choice as his bud­get di­rec­tor, is a fierce deficit hawk with a record of push­ing deep spend­ing cuts across the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to bal­ance the bud­get.

The 49-year-old from South Carolina, just re-elected to a fourth term, is a co­founder of the hard-right House Free­dom Cau­cus that pushed for­mer Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, from power. As di­rec­tor of the White House Of­fice of Man­age­ment and Bud­get, Mul­vaney would be re­spon­si­ble for Trump’s bud­get sub­mis­sions to Congress. Those bud­gets are likely to ad­dress Trump’s cam­paign prom­ises to re­peal the Af­ford­able Care Act, cut taxes broadly and boost spend­ing on pub­lic works and other projects.

If con­firmed by the Se­nate, Mul­vaney would lead an of­fice that co­or­di­nates fed­eral reg­u­la­tions, putting him in charge of re­peals of Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion rules. Trump has been crit­i­cal of sev­eral of Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s ex­ec­u­tive or­ders, from those in­volv­ing cli­mate change and rein­ing in Wall Street to pro­tect­ing the chil­dren of im­mi­grants who are in the United States il­le­gally.

Strongly anti-es­tab­lish­ment, Mul­vaney has sup­ported cuts be­yond what House Republican lead­ers pre­ferred and has re­fused to back deals to raise the gov­ern­ment’s bor­row­ing limit, more re­cently caus­ing heart­burn for cur­rent Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

The nom­i­na­tion prob­a­bly will soothe fis­cal con­ser­va­tives but could put Mul­vaney at odds with Trump, who has pledged ad­di­tional spend­ing for trans­porta­tion, mil­i­tary and veter­ans’ health care with­out of­fer­ing lit­tle de­tails on how to pay for it. Trump has pre­vi­ously sug­gested that the gov­ern­ment should take on new debt for many of the spend­ing projects be­cause in­ter­est rates are so low.

In a state­ment, Trump com­mended Mul­vaney’s strong voice in Congress who will get Amer­ica’s fis­cal house in or­der.

“Right now we are nearly $20 tril­lion in debt, but Mick is a very high-en­ergy leader with deep con­vic­tions for how to re­spon­si­bly man­age our nation’s fi­nances and save our coun­try from drown­ing in red ink,” Trump said.

Mul­vaney said he looked for­ward to work­ing with Congress to cre­ate poli­cies that will be “friendly to Amer­i­can work­ers and busi­nesses.”

“The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion will re­store bud­getary and fis­cal san­ity back in Washington af­ter eight years of an out-of-con­trol, tax and spend fi­nan­cial agenda,” he said.

House Demo­cratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California called Mul­vaney a “rad­i­cal” who con­sis­tently voted to cut Medi­care ben­e­fits. She noted that he was sup­porter of a gov­ern­ment shut­down in 2013 and 2015 over spend­ing that Repub­li­cans op­posed for the health care law and Planned Par­ent­hood.

“We can­not have an OMB di­rec­tor who sees in­flict­ing pain on work­ing fam­i­lies as lever­age for his rad­i­cal agenda,” Pelosi said.

Mul­vaney was elected in the 2010 Tea Party wave. He de­feated Demo­cratic Rep. John Spratt, who had been chair­man of the House Bud­get Com­mit­tee, by brand­ing him as a big-spend­ing liberal.

Mul­vaney quickly came to op­pose Boehner’s lead­er­ship be­fore Boehner was pushed out in 2015. In 2013, Mul­vaney de­clined to sup­port Boehner’s re-elec­tion to the post. That year, Mul­vaney un­suc­cess­fully pushed for amend­ments to re­duce Pen­tagon fund­ing and pro­posed broad across-the-board fed­eral cuts, in­clud­ing for the mil­i­tary.

He was an early backer of Trump dur­ing the pres­i­den­tial cam­paign, not­ing that the Republican bil­lion­aire had tapped into a pop­ulist sen­ti­ment dis­sat­is­fied with Washington.

“If you want to know, mem­bers of Congress, why you have Don­ald Trump, go look in the mir­ror, be­cause we’ve over­promised and un­der­de­liv­ered for so long,” Mul­vaney said in Fe­bru­ary.

Ac­tu­ally balanc­ing the fed­eral bud­get re­quires deeper spend­ing cuts than the GOP­con­trolled Congress can prob­a­bly de­liver on, es­pe­cially if Trump pre­vails on rev­enue-los­ing tax cuts and a big in­fra­struc­ture pack­age next year.

On Satur­day, Ryan praised Mul­vaney as the “ab­so­lute right choice” for bud­get di­rec­tor.

A law grad­u­ate from the Univer­sity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Mul­vaney started a small home­build­ing com­pany and owned and op­er­ated a restau­rant be­fore en­ter­ing pol­i­tics.

Other con­gress­men to take on the bud­get post in­clude David Stock­man, R-Mich., Pres­i­dent Ron­ald Rea­gan’s first OMB di­rec­tor, and Leon Panetta, who ran the bud­get of­fice dur­ing Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton’s first term.

Rob Port­man, now a sen­a­tor from Ohio, was one of Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush’s bud­get di­rec­tors.

Alex Bran­don, As­so­ci­ated Press

Rep. Mick Mul­vaney, R-S.C., ques­tions My­lan CEO Heather Bresch on Capi­tol Hill in Washington on Sept. 21 as she tes­ti­fied be­fore the House Over­sight Com­mit­tee hear­ing on EpiPen price in­creases.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.