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Ex-Goldman Sachs executive Steven Mnuchin sworn in as US Treasury Secretary

He was sworn in as the Treasury Secretary by Vice President Mike Pence soon after he was confirmed by the US Senate by a vote of 53 to 48 yesterday.

Last Updated: Feb 14, 2017, 08.39 AM IST
WASHINGTON: Investment banker and former Goldman Sachs executive Steven Mnuchin has been sworn in as the new Secretary of Treasury, filling a crucial position in US President Donald Trump's economic team.

He was sworn in as the Treasury Secretary by Vice President Mike Pence soon after he was confirmed by the US Senate by a vote of 53 to 48 yesterday.

Mnuchin, 54, is the third former Goldman Sachs executive to become Treasury Secretary. The other two being Robert Rubin and Henry Paulson.

In this position, Mnuchin is expected to play a key role in the economic reforms that Trump plans to undertake to remove bureaucratic bottlenecks, simplify tax codes and make America an attractive investment destination.

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.

Born and raised in New York City, Mnuchin holds a Bachelor's Degree from Yale University.

Mnuchin will be the principal economic advisor to Trump on domestic and international financial, economic, and tax issues.

"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.

The Senate also confirmed David Shulkin as the Secretary of Veterans affairs with a vote of 100 to 0.

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