We had another significant staffing announcement coming down from Trump Tower this weekend and it was for the next head of the Office of Management and Budget. This is the person who will be steering the budget proposal negotiations for Trump and if you were hoping for a budget cutting, small government conservative in that slot, you probably won’t do much better than Congressman Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina. (Free Beacon)
“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.
For those still fretting over how much Trump may honor the wishes of the conservatives who make up his base – particularly the fiscal conservatives – it’s hard to see any of us being too upset about this pick. Mulvaney is an original Freedom Caucus guy and has proven to be a thorn in the side of the GOP establishment on a range of matters since first being elected back during the 2010 wave. Keep in mind that in the days leading up to the election there was a lot of talk of throwing Paul Ryan off his perch over some of his less than “pro-Trump” comments. This is the same guy who was telling Politico at that time that he might have to help take out Ryan as Speaker because the base would want to “take a scalp” in retribution.
As to his spending priorities, Government Executive was quick out of the gate to remind everyone that Mulvaney has been an advocate of privatizing certain federal government functions and shrinking the workforce. He’s also been a supporter of shutting down the government rather than approving more spending, particularly on liberal sacred cows like Planned Parenthood.
If you want a bit more flavor in terms of Mulvaney’s colorful personality and the way he goes after the establishment and the status quo, check out this video from 2013. It was taken during a meeting of the House Financial Services Committee (which Mick sits on) when FHA Commissioner Carol Galante showed up asking for a bailout that Obama wanted. What begins as a conversation about budgets turns into a rant about accountability and a display of righteous indignation which we could probably use more of at the executive level.
As far as the Mulvaney’s House seat goes, that shouldn’t be much of a problem. Under South Carolina election law, they will have to move to a primary a few months after the vacancy and then hold a special election 18 weeks after he vacates. The 5th district is about as solid red as they come and this year Mulvaney won reelection by more than 20 points. I’m sure they’ve got somebody on the bench to step in.