Mnuchin confirmed as treasury secretary

New US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs executive, served as finance chairman of the Trump campaign.
New US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs executive, served as finance chairman of the Trump campaign.

WASHINGTON • The US Senate on Monday confirmed Wall Street banker Steven Mnuchin as the next secretary of the US Treasury, overcoming fierce Democratic objection of yet another nominee to President Donald Trump's Cabinet.

Mr Mnuchin, 54, an ex-Goldman Sachs executive, fills a crucial position in Mr Trump's economic team.

The new President has criticised opponents for delaying his nominees. Democrats have put up roadblocks to nearly all of his Cabinet picks to date, a sign of the political rancour infusing a confirmation process that until recent years exhibited far more bipartisanship.

Republicans, who maintain a majority in the Senate, have managed to hold a united front and confirm each nominee who has come to the floor for a vote.

Senators confirmed Mr Mnuchin, an investment banker who was also finance chairman of Mr Trump's campaign, on a party line vote of 53 to 48. Democrat Joe Manchin was the only crossover vote.

Mr Mnuchin takes over a US agency with power over taxation, bank regulation, sovereign debt, and policies to combat corruption and terrorism finance.

During his confirmation hearing, he fended off queries about his previously undisclosed offshore investment firms and real estate holdings, and defended his bank's foreclosure practices.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 15, 2017, with the headline 'Mnuchin confirmed as treasury secretary'. Print Edition | Subscribe