Jan. 13, 2017

Mulvaney Is Too Extreme to Direct OMB

Public Citizen Report Documents Mulvaney’s Pattern of Anti-Government Extremism and Hostility to Governance

WASHINGTON, D.C. – President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to direct the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB), U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), is unfit and unqualified to run the office, according to a report (PDF) released today by Public Citizen. The report shows that Mulvaney holds extreme and often hypocritical views on federal budgeting, social insurance programs, financial reform, public health, protections for women and disaster relief – any of which could have devastating and expensive consequences for the American people.

“Because of its enormous power and reach, OMB should be led by someone who has shown interest in governing, creating reasonable budgets and funding important programs – all basic duties of the office,” said Lisa Gilbert, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division. “Instead, Trump’s pick has routinely sabotaged our nation’s ability to govern and trumpeted views that are wildly at odds with the preferences of voters in both parties.”

OMB coordinates the president’s legislative proposals and polices, proposes and implements the federal budget, oversees executive branch departments and agencies as well as federal procurement, manages the regulatory process, implements executive orders and much more. Mulvaney’s record reveals an unmistakable pattern of ideological extremism, reality denial and flagrant hypocrisy that render him unfit to carry out these duties:

  • He described the 2013 government shutdown and threat of national default as “good policy” and “good politics.”
  • He opposed Hurricane Sandy relief because it wasn’t paid for, but changed his tune about paying upfront for disaster aid when his own constituents were the victims.
  • Despite alleging, “I don’t believe small business needs government,” he sought and obtained $30 million in government funding to support his own real estate business.
  • He called Social Security a “Ponzi scheme,” wants to raise the retirement age to 70 and argued, “we have to end Medicare as we know it.”
  • He referred to the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which has recovered nearly $12 billion for American consumers, as “a joke.”
  • He questioned whether the Zika virus causes the birth defect microcephaly and whether “we really need government funded research at all.”
  • And in 2013, he voted against reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.

“Mulvaney’s anti-government beliefs could have disastrous consequences for American workers, consumers and families, because at OMB, he would be in a position to carry them out,” Gilbert added. “We wouldn’t put an arsonist in charge of our fire department, so we shouldn’t put a political arsonist in charge of running our government.”

The U.S. Senate will hold two confirmation hearings, which are tentatively scheduled for Jan. 24. Public Citizen is urging members of the Budget Committee and the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee to demand clear and unambiguous answers from Mulvaney about his record and views on the role of government.

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