Republican U.S. Rep. Mick Mulvaney of Indian Land met with President-elect Donald Trump last week, but it remained unclear what job, if any, he interviewed for.
Several news outlets have speculated that Mulvaney is being considered for the job of director of the Office of Management and Budget.
Mulvaney, whose 5th congressional district includes parts of Spartanburg and Cherokee counties, declined to describe the nature of last Monday’s meeting or what position, if any, was discussed.
“I did meet with Trump personally, and I have mentioned that I thought that the meeting went very well,” Mulvaney said Sunday. “I haven’t commented beyond that. In fact, I haven’t mentioned the subject of the meeting – though other sources have mentioned OMB.”
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The Charleston Post and Courier cited a source familiar with Mulvaney’s interest in the OMB job in reporting the congressman is in “serious contention” to be the director of the OMB.
Other news outlets, including Breitbart News, also speculated Mulvaney’s meeting with Trump was to discuss the OMB job.
Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas, chairman of the House Rules Committee, told Breitbart News he supports Mulvaney for the post.
“Mick Mulvaney will bring not only conservative credentials, but he’ll bring hard work and being a smart guy – we will miss him tremendously, but the advantage would be to the American public that he would bring to an important job,” he stated.
Breitbart also quoted House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy: “He’d be teriffic for the job,” McCarthy stated.
U.S. Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina is a member of the Trump Transition Team. Scott spokeswoman Michele Exner said Monday that Scott has “not received any word that Mulvaney is being considered for a position.”
U.S. Trep. Trey Gowdy of Spartanburg, also on the transition team, could not be reached Monday.
The Cabinet-level OMB oversees the president’s budget proposal to Congress and is in charge of oversight of government agencies and programs. The current director, Shaun Donovan, was appointed by President Obama.
In October, Mulvaney told a Facebook commenter he would be interested in a position in a Trump cabinet.
“I would love to be the director of OMB,” he stated. “That is where I think REAL improvements could be made in how the government is run.”
Mulvaney last month easily won re-election to a fourth term in Congress. He was first elected to represent the 5th congressional district in 2010.
Mulvaney supported Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul for president but when he dropped out, Mulvaney switched his support to Trump.
“A lot of the stuff I want to accomplish would require Donald Trump winning the presidency,” Mulvaney, 49, said in September.
He blamed “reckless spending in Washington” for the nearly $20 trillion national debt and previously co-sponsored a balanced budget amendment.
“I am committed to taking the necessary steps to get our financial house in order,” he states on his website. “At a time when millions of Americans must tighten their belts, Congress needs to do the same.”
Meanwhile, several notable conservatives have come out in support of Mulvaney for the job.
Dean Chambers of the website RedState called Mulvaney “a solid conservative member of Congress and consistent advocate for good government” and that “Mulvaney will be a true champion of fiscal restraint, balancing the budget and limited and responsible spending.”
Clemson political science professor David Woodard said the job of OMB director is “very powerful, like a “traffic cop for the budget,” and if Mulvaney is successful, he could elevate his credentials in a future run for governor or U.S. Senate.
“It seems he’s a policy wonk kind of guy who likes the ins and outs of putting policy together,” Woodard said of Mulvaney. “He’s going to be talking to committee chairmen and the powerful people on the Hill. If he builds a reputation as someone they admire, that’s a big opportunity that’s for sure.”