The U.S. Senate is expected to vote Thursday on whether or not to confirm South Carolina’s Mick Mulvaney as the new U.S. budget chief.
U.S. Rep. Mulvaney, R-S.C., will face a "cloture vote" early Wednesday, according to a schedule released by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
After that vote, the Senate is limited to 30 hours of debate on Mulvaney, meaning the vote on the Indian Land Republican as the director of the Office of Management and Budget should come Thursday afternoon. That timing remains an estimate, however.
If confirmed, Mulvaney will resign his 5th District congressional seat, setting up a special election to fill the post. Six Republicans already have said they will run for the seat, which represents a district that stretches from the N.C. line, south of Charlotte, to parts of Kershaw, Sumter and Newberry counties. No Democrat has announced.
President Donald Trump nominated Mulvaney to oversee his federal budgets in mid-December. Two Senate committees held hearings on Mulvaney’s nomination.
During the hearings, Mulvaney faced harsh questioning about taxes he paid after his nomination for a nanny he had employed about 15 years ago. He was approved for a full Senate vote along party lines.
Mulvaney appears likely to be confirmed. While not popular among Democrats, the four-term congressman and anti-federal deficit crusader appears to have Republican support.
Republicans control 52 seats in the Senate, where 50 votes have proven sufficient to get a nominee confirmed. In the case of a tie vote, Vice President Mike Pence would cast the deciding vote.
If confirmed, Mulvaney will be under enormous time pressure to put together what is known as a "skinny budget" for the president to use in addressing both houses of Congress on Feb. 28.
Budget experts say preparing a full federal budget can take as long as 18 months.