Top investment banker and former Goldman Sachs executive Steven Mnuchin, sworn-in as US Treasury Secretary, today pledged to create more jobs and combat terrorist activities and financing. Mnuchin, 54, was sworn-in as the Treasury Secretary by Vice President Mike Pence at a White House ceremony soon after he was confirmed by the US Senate by a vote of 53 to 48 yesterday. Mnuchin is the third former Goldman Sachs executive to become Treasury Secretary. The other two being Robert Rubin and Henry Paulson.
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In this position, Mnuchin is expected to play a key role in the economic reforms that President Donald Trump plans to undertake to remove bureaucratic bottlenecks, simplify tax codes and make America an attractive investment destination.
Trump said Mnuchin would be a “great champion” for Americans.
“He will fight for middle-class tax reductions, financial reforms that open up lending and create millions of new jobs, and fiercely defend the American tax dollar and your financial security,” Trump said, adding that, he will also “defend our manufacturing jobs from those who cheat and steal and rob us blind.”
In his response, Mnuchin said, “I am committed to using the full powers of this office to create more jobs, to combat terrorist activities and financing, and to make America great again.”
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady welcomed Mnuchin’s confirmation.
“With decades of private-sector experience, Secretary Mnuchin understands how today’s broken tax code and wasteful spending directly discourage economic growth and make it harder for Americans to get ahead,” he said.
However, a number of Democratic lawmakers opposed the nomination of Mnuchin as the Treasury Secretary.
“The American people don’t suffer from the same collective amnesia that Wall Street and its allies in Congress have about how devastating the crisis was to our country,” Senator Sherrod Brown said on Senate floor.
“As the people we represent know, and Mnuchin’s bank proves, when we turn the reins to Wall Street, it’s working families who pay the price,” he said.
“Regrettably, while Mr Mnchuin may have a knowledge of the inner-workings of Wall Street, he seems to know shockingly little of the hardships faced on Main Street. One need look no further than his role during the height of the housing crisis in foreclosing on tens of thousands of American families,” Senator Patrick Leahy said.
“Reducing these actions to mere administrative matters belies the true struggles of those who don’t boast the personal coffers Mr Mnuchin enjoys. I simply cannot accept his explanation of his role in these actions,” he said.
Born and raised in New York City, Mnuchin holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Yale University.