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Trump Taps Fiscal Hawk Congressman Mulvaney as Budget Director

  • VOA News

President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the Orlando Amphitheater at the Central Florida Fairgrounds, Friday, Dec. 16, 2016, in Orlando, Florida.

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Republican Congressman Mick Mulvaney to be his White House budget director, a signal that Trump plans to cut federal spending despite promises to boost military spending, protect expensive entitlement programs and rebuild the nation's infrastructure.

Mulvaney is a fiscal conservative who has even pushed his own Republican Party colleagues to more aggressively reduce federal spending.

In a statement Saturday announcing his decision, Trump said, "Right now we are nearly $20 trillion in debt, but Mick is a very high-energy leader with deep convictions for how to responsibly manage our nation's finances and save our country from drowning red ink."

Federal spending

Senate confirmation of Mulvaney as Office of Management and Budget director may allay concerns among fiscally conservative lawmakers who question how the Trump administration will manage the federal budget.

FILE - Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., questions Mylan CEO Heather Bresch on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016, as she testifies before the House Oversight Committee hearing on EpiPen price increases.
FILE - Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., questions Mylan CEO Heather Bresch on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016, as she testifies before the House Oversight Committee hearing on EpiPen price increases.


Trump has promised to cut federal spending while bolstering the military and preserving popular entitlement programs, such as Medicare and Social Security. Trump also has called for as much as $1 trillion in spending to repair the nation's aging infrastructure, an idea that has long been popular among Democrats.

Mulvaney was among a group of younger fiscal conservative stalwarts who were elected to Congress in 2010. He quickly earned a reputation as a spending hawk while playing a leading role in a 2011 confrontation between House Republicans and President Barack Obama that culminated in the approval of strict budget limits.

Mulvaney is a founding member of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of staunchly conservative House Republicans who are widely considered responsible for the 2015 ouster of then House Speaker John Boehner.

Tweeting, touring

Although Trump began his holiday vacation Friday at his estate in Palm Beach, Florida, the president-elect is still managing to get unwanted attention. After calling out China in a tweet Saturday morning for seizing an unmanned U.S. military underwater probe, the incoming president was mocked for a typographical error.

"China steals United States Navy research drone in international waters — rips it out of water and takes it to China in unpresidented (sic) act," Trump posted in his initial tweet.

The misspelling quickly became a trending topic on Twitter in the U.S., prompting the removal of Trump's tweet about an hour later. The tweet was replaced with one that included the correct spelling of the word "unprecedented."

Trump's tweet referred to China's seizure of the military probe Thursday in the international waters of the South China Sea, a provocation that could further heighten tensions between the two superpower nations.

Meanwhile, the president-elect will make the final stop on his post-election "thank you" tour with an appearance Saturday afternoon in Mobile, Alabama, the site of the largest rally of his campaign.

After the event, Trump is expected to return to his Florida estate, where aides say he will likely spend the week hosting meetings and relaxing with his family.

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