On Saturday, President-elect Donald Trump announced a new budget director. It's not quite as sexy of a title as some of Trump's earlier announcements, but it's a pretty important job considering that the budget can potentially further the president's policy agenda. So who is Trump's budget director, Mick Mulvaney? This fiscal conservative is totally ready to cut government spending.
While his new boss wants to make America great again, Mulvaney's aim is to "restore budgetary and fiscal sanity back in Washington." If his appointment as head of the White House Office of Budget and Management is confirmed by the Senate, Mulvaney will have a hand in Trump's plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act, a $1 trillion investment in infrastructure, and a tax overhaul, according to The New York Times.
"With Mick at the head of OMB, my administration is going to make smart choices about America’s budget, bring new accountability to our federal government, and renew the American taxpayer’s trust in how their money is spent," Trump said in a statement on Saturday.
The South Carolina representative has diligently fought what he sees as irresponsible government spending. As the Times notes, Mulvaney was one of the hard-line fiscal conservatives who was willing to shut down the government rather than raise the nation's debt ceiling, embracing the "Shutdown Caucus."
Mulvaney is one of the most fitting choices in Trump's mission to "drain the swamp" in Washington. Firmly anti-establishment, Mulvaney helped lead the charge in the House of Representatives to cut federal spending even deeper than most House Republicans would have liked. He also had a key role in lobbying for House Speaker John Boehner's resignation. According to the Times, Mulvaney not only stood in strong opposition to President Obama's fiscal policies, but often the policies of his fellow Republicans.
Politico points out, however, that there is a key difference between Mulvaney and Trump's plans for fiscal cuts. Mulvaney is part of a hyper-conservative bloc of Republicans who, in addition to cutting domestic spending, also lobby for cutting defense dollars. Trump, on the other hand, has asked for a boost in the Pentagon's budget and has often said that the military needs more support from the government. It's unclear how that will play out, but Mulvaney will be drafting Trump's first budget for his time in the White House, so he's got quite the job ahead of him to say the least.