The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on whether or not to confirm South Carolina’s Mick Mulvaney as the new U.S. budget chief on Thursday, according to a schedule released Monday evening by the Senate majority leader.
The new schedule released by Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Kent., indicates that Rep. Mulvaney, R-S.C., will face a "cloture vote" early Wednesday. After that vote, the Senate is limited to 30 hours of debate on Mulvaney, meaning the vote on Mulvaney as the director of the Office of Management and Budget should come Thursday afternoon. The timing remains an estimate, however.
President Donald Trump nominated Mulvaney to oversee his federal budgets in mid-December. Two Senate committees held hearings on his confirmation and in February voted in favor of a full Senate vote on the nomination. During the confirmation process, Mulvaney faced harsh questioning about taxes he’d paid after his nomination for a nanny he had employed about 15 years ago. He was approved for a full Senate vote by a vote that broke along party lines.
Mulvaney appears to be likely to be confirmed. Despite not being popular among Democrats, the four term Congressman and anti-federal deficit crusader appears to have Republican support. Republicans control 52 seats in the Senate, and even 50 votes have proven sufficient to get other nominees confirmed. In the case of a tie vote, the Vice President casts the deciding vote.
Mulvaney, if confirmed, is expected to arrive in his office under enormous time pressure to put together what is known as a "skinny budget" for the President to address both houses of Congress on February 28.
Budget experts say that a full federal budget can take as long as 18 months to prepare.