Trump Taps Rep. Mick Mulvaney to Be Budget Director

Mick Mulvaney
Rep. Mick Mulvaney / AP

President-elect Donald Trump has nominated Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R., S.C.) to be his budget director, putting a fiscal conservative in charge of the Office of Management and Budget.

"He's a tremendous talent, especially when it comes to numbers and budgets," Trump said in a statement Friday night, according to the New York Times.

Mulvaney, who helped found the House Freedom Caucus with other conservative lawmakers, would be responsible for helping guide Trump's spending proposals and the repeal of President Obama's landmark health care legislation, commonly referred to as "Obamacare."

Mulvaney was an early supporter of Trump's campaign and has been vocally opposed to the Obama administration's spending levels, vowing not to raise the nation's debt limit.

As part of the Tea Party wave, Mulvaney was elected in 2010 on the platform of fiscal responsibility and small government. He defeated veteran Democratic Congressman John Spratt, who had been chairman of the House Budget Committee.

Mulvaney is known on Capitol Hill for being anti-establishment and opposing party leadership on some budget proposals, the Times noted.

Mr. Mulvaney has repeatedly opposed some of his own party's budget proposals, and quickly established himself as one of the most outspoken members of that 2010 class of Republicans. By 2013, at the outset of his second term, he declined to support Mr. Boehner's reelection as speaker, abstaining from the vote in protest.

Strongly anti-establishment, Mr. Mulvaney, who has a degree in international economics from Georgetown and a law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, chafed as much at the Republican leadership in the House as he did at Mr. Obama's direction from the White House.

Mulvaney traveled to New York to meet with Trump last week, when the president-elect's transition spokesman, Jason Miller, described Mulvaney as having "a very proven track record as a fiscal conservative and a government reformer," McClatchy reported.

After McClatchy first reported the news Friday afternoon of Mulvaney's expected nomination, Republicans in his home state praised the decision.

"Mick would be a great choice for OMB Director," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) said. "I've often described him as ‘young' Paul Ryan when it comes to all things budget-related. He's done his homework when it comes to the federal budget and will hit the ground running in this very important job."

"By selecting Congressman Mick Mulvaney to serve as director of the Office of Management and Budget, President-elect Donald Trump will gain a strong voice for conservative, purposeful budgeting and government reform," Rep. Joe Wilson (R., S.C.) said in statement.

Mulvaney will need to be confirmed by the Senate to serve as budget director.