By TIM RYAN
WASHINGTON (CN) – President-elect Donald Trump over the weekend selected Rep. Mick Mulvaney to serve as director of the Office of Management and Budget. In a separate move, he also announced his pick for Army secretary.
Mulvaney has represented South Carolina’s 5th Congressional District since 2011 following an eclectic career in the private sector that saw him start a law firm, run a real estate company and even own a restaurant.
A strict fiscal conservative, Mulvaney laments on his congressional website that the national debt has faded as a debate topic in recent years and boasts his office has “returned hundreds of thousands of dollars” from its budget to the federal government during his term.
“We are going to do great things for the American people with Mick Mulvaney leading the Office of Management and Budget,” Trump said in a statement. “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 in red ink. With Mick at the head of OMB, my administration is going to make smart choices about America’s budget, bring new accountability to our federal government and renew the American taxpayer’s trust in how their money is spent.”
Mulvaney is a member of the Balanced Budget Amendment Caucus in the House, a group of lawmakers that believes an amendment should be added to the Constitution that requires the federal government to spend only as much as it takes in through taxes. He co-sponsored such an amendment shortly after joining the House.
He also co-sponsored the Cut, Cap and Balance Act during the 2011 debt ceiling fight. The bill would have cut federal spending, put in place a cap on future spending tied to the country’s gross domestic product and made an increase in the debt ceiling contingent on a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution being proposed for ratification.
Then-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., called the bill “one of the worst pieces of legislation to ever be placed on the floor of the United States Senate” before the Democrat-controlled chamber killed the measure.
On Monday, Trump on Monday nominated Florida Panthers owner Vincent Viola to serve as his secretary of the Army.
Viola graduated from West Point in 1977 and served in the Army shortly before founding high-frequency trading firm Virtu Financial. He also worked as the chairman of the New York Mercantile Exchange from 2001 to 2004 and helped to fund the Combating Terrorism Center at his alma mater in 2003.
Viola bought the Florida Panthers hockey team in 2013 and has an estimated net worth of $1.8 billion, according to Forbes.
“I am proud to have such an incredibly accomplished and selfless individual as Vincent Viola as our secretary of the Army,” Trump said in a statement. “Whether it is his distinguished military service or highly impressive track record in the world of business, Vinnie has proved throughout his life that he knows how to be a leader and deliver major results in the face of any challenge. He is a man of outstanding work ethic, integrity, and strategic vision, with an exceptional ability to motive others. The American people, whether civilian or military, should have great confidence that Vinnie Viola has what it takes to keep America safe and oversee issues of concern to our troops in the Army.”
Viola reported for duty with the 101st Airborne Division after graduating from West Point but went to law school after finishing his active duty service, receiving his J.D. in 1983.