From Wall Street on Parade, by Pam Martens and Russ Martens
The U.S. Treasury Secretary is one of the four most powerful posts in the U.S. government, overseeing a sprawling network of functions that impact the average American every single day. Putting a man or woman in that post who has exhibited impeccable integrity throughout their career should be the sworn duty of every member of the U.S. Senate, which oversees the confirmation hearing process.
Yesterday, every Democratic Senator on the Senate Finance Committee upheld their duty and boycotted the vote on Steven Mnuchin, President Donald Trump’s nominee for Treasury Secretary. The boycott denied the Senate Finance Committee the ability to have a quorum and a final vote. Trump had pushed Mnuchin forward not because of his sterling credentials but because Mnuchin had helped to raise millions of dollars for Trump as his Campaign Finance Chairman.
As the tawdry details of Mnuchin’s business dealings unfolded in the initial confirmation hearing on January 19 and it became clear that Mnuchin had brazenly withheld disclosures on tens of millions of dollars in problematic assets, it also became clear that Republicans were unfazed by the shocking revelations and would attempt to vote him into office anyway.
The Treasury’s power is striking. Its bureaus include the IRS; the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency which oversees national banks; the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the U.S. Mint that issues the currency and coin of the U.S.; the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network which is supposed to combat money laundering; and numerous other units. The Treasury Secretary not only sits atop the Treasury but as a result of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation, the Treasury Secretary now chairs the Financial Stability Oversight Council which is responsible for preventing another epic financial implosion like that of 2008. The Treasury Secretary also serves as the Managing Trustee of the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds and has one of three votes, along with the Secretaries of Commerce and Labor, on the federal corporate pension guarantor, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
Read more at Wall Street on Parade…