On Capitol Hill, the Senate has voted 53-47 to confirm Steven Mnuchin to be the treasury secretary. Mnuchin is a former Goldman Sachs executive who has faced widespread criticism about his bank, OneWest, which has been called a “foreclosure machine.” Under Mnuchin’s ownership, the bank foreclosed on 36,000 families, particularly elderly residents trapped in reverse mortgages. It was also accused of racially discriminatory lending practices. On Monday, Oregon Democratic Senator Ron Wyden criticized Mnuchin’s role in the housing crisis.
Sen. Ron Wyden: “A lot of people in those communities cast their votes in November based on a Trump message that real change was coming. Heads are going to be spinning tonight at the news from the Senate. In just a few minutes, this body will vote to confirm as treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin, known by many as the foreclosure king.”
Mnuchin is one of at least six of Trump’s top advisers and Cabinet nominees who are tied to Goldman Sachs. That list also includes National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, Trump chief strategist Stephen Bannon, Securities and Exchange Commission chairman nominee Jay Clayton, senior White House adviser Anthony Scaramucci and senior counselor for economic initiatives Dina Habib Powell. During his bruising confirmation hearings, Mnuchin also faced criticism for not initially disclosing about $100 million in assets. Fortune magazine recently reviewed financial disclosures by Mnuchin and reported that he’s as much as 10 times richer than previously thought, worth as much as $400 million.