South Carolina’s Mick Mulvaney will learn Thursday whether he will become the next U.S. budget chief.
The Indian Land Republican, who represents South Carolina’s 5th District in Congress, is expected to win confirmation in a vote, now scheduled for 7 a.m.
If Mulvaney fails, he will remain in his post in the House of Representatives.
If he is confirmed, Mulvaney will resign his congressional seat, setting off a special election for the 5th District seat. Six Republicans have said they will seek the seat. No Democrat has announced.
Mulvaney was nominated to head the Office of Management and Budget during President Donald Trump’s transition. Mulvaney appeared in hearings before two Senate committees where he was grilled about his commitment to military spending, and his failure to pay until recently taxes for a nanny he had employed about 15 years ago.
Mulvaney advanced from both committees with the support of Republican majorities and opposition of Democratic minorities.
A vote shortly before noon Wednesday set a maximum of 30 hours of debate in motion. But, due to a deal struck between the Republican and Democratic parties, the Senate agreed to pretend the debate vote took place at 1 a.m. Wednesday, meaning the 30-hour clock will expire at 7 a.m. Thursday.
When the clock winds down, Mulvaney faces a vote by the full Senate.
In the halls of the Capitol this week, U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said he was considering breaking party lines and voting against Mulvaney’s confirmation. McCain, who questions Mulvaney’s commitment to military spending, made the same statement when Mulvaney was before a Senate committee but voted in favor of forwarding his nomination.
Mulvaney does not need McCain’s vote to win confirmation. If every Democrat votes against Mulvaney, three Republican senators would have to join them to defeat the nomination.