Senate confirms Mulvaney for White House budget office

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 24: Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC) is sworn in before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee during his confirmation hearing to be the next director of the Office of Management and Budget in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill January 24, 2017 in Washington, DC. A conservative Republican from South Carolina, Mulvaney was nominated by U.S. President Donald Trump. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

(AP) The Senate has confirmed President Donald Trump’s pick to run the White House budget office, giving Republicans’ tea party wing a voice in Trump’s Cabinet.

Rep. Mick Mulvaney squeaked through the Senate on a 51-49 vote. Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, who’s emerging as perhaps the most vocal Republican critic of the Trump administration, opposed Mulvaney for backing cuts to Pentagon spending.

Mulvaney’s confirmation promises to accelerate work on Trump’s upcoming budget plan. The South Carolina Republican brings staunchly conservative credentials to the post, though Trump has indicated he not interested in tackling popular benefit programs like Social Security and Medicare and wants a major investment in infrastructure programs like highways.

Democrats opposed Mulvaney over his support for curbing the growth of Medicare and Social Security and other issues.

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