Transition Briefing: Donald Trump Vows on Twitter to Step Away From Business
With Republicans expected to hold 52 seats in the Senate, blocking confirmation would be difficult, but Democrats signaled that both men would face tough questioning.
Mr. Mnuchin’s time atop a Los Angeles bank known for its foreclosures will definitely come up, as suggested in comments by Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, the ranking Democrat on the Finance Committee.
“Given Mr. Mnuchin’s history of profiting off the victims of predatory lending, I look forward to asking him how his Treasury Department would work for Americans who are still waiting for the economic recovery to show up in their communities. The Treasury secretary has the power to help reconnect working Americans with this country’s economic engine, whether it’s through tax reforms that fight unfairness, rules that rein in Wall Street abuses, or infrastructure and trade policies that create jobs in the U.S. Any Treasury nominee will find partners among Democrats eager to pursue those policies. I hope to learn much more about Mr. Mnuchin’s views as his nomination gets a full and thorough review from the Finance Committee in the coming weeks.”
Treasury pick makes promises.
Appearing on the business cable channel CNBC, Mr. Mnuchin made a series of promises and pledges sure to be remembered in the years to come:
— Mr. Trump’s tax cuts will provide no net benefit to the rich.
“Any reductions we have in upper-income taxes will be offset by less deductions so that there will be no absolute tax cut for the upper class.”
— The Trump administration expects sustained economic growth of 3 percent to 4 percent a year.
“By cutting corporate taxes, we’re going to create huge economic growth, and we’ll have huge personal income.”
— The Trump administration will label China a currency manipulator “if we determine” that’s warranted.
— His top regulatory priority will be eliminating “parts” of the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory overhaul that discourage lending, but the administration will not push for a full repeal.
Speaking of Trump’s children …
Eric Trump took a quick trip to Turkey, according to reports in newspapers there, for a deer-hunting excursion near Antalya, a Turkish resort city know for its yacht-filled Old Harbor, beaches and luxury hotels.
The Turkish daily Hurriyet reported that the visit this week was at the invitation of a Turkish businessman, who was not identified. Turkish authorities provided special guards, the newspaper reported, in addition to security that Mr. Trump had with him.
One Turkish news account said that Mr. Trump “pursued and shot two wild deer.”
The Trump Organization did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday morning.
Nancy Pelosi is in for a scare.
Representative Nancy Pelosi, Democratic of California, is the clear favorite to win an eighth term as leader of the House Democrats in Wednesday morning’s leadership election, but the secret ballot may yield more votes for her challenger, Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio, than she anticipated a few weeks ago.
Ms. Pelosi has been under fire from many in her party every election year since the Democrats lost control of the House in 2010, and the victory of Mr. Trump in Rust Belt states has led many to clamor for a leadership that is younger and perhaps not from one of the coasts.
Moving fast on the Trump team.
Judge Merrick B. Garland never came close to getting a hearing on his nomination in March to the Supreme Court. But Republicans cannot seem to move fast enough when it comes to some members of the incoming Trump administration.
Senator Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican and majority leader who shut down the Supreme Court confirmation process, is promising to conduct speedy hearings and to have some nominees ready for a vote on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, deference that has been afforded to past incoming presidents, including President Obama. The hearings will technically occur before the nominations can be made, since that requires Mr. Trump to be in office.
“Even though there’s a lot going on that day, we hope to be able to vote on and confirm a number of the president’s selections for the cabinet so he can get started,” Mr. McConnell told reporters.
Democrats aren’t so sure, particularly when it comes to the nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama as attorney general.
In a letter to Senator Charles E. Grassley, the Iowa Republican who leads the mon the panel said they wanted assurances that the hearings would be “fair and thorough.” That is congressional code for “this might take a while so don’t try to rush us.” A Sessions showdown could be one of the first tests of wills of the transition next year.
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