Trump’s Pick to Lead OMB Supports Privatizing Some Federal Operations, Cutting Workforce

Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., hears testimony at a House Oversight Committee hearing in September. Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., hears testimony at a House Oversight Committee hearing in September. AP Photo/Alex Brandon

In a move that’s sure to please the conservative House Freedom Caucus, Donald Trump tapped one of the group’s founders, South Carolina Rep. Mick Mulvaney, to lead the Office of Management and Budget. Mulvaney  has been a leader in recent efforts to shut down the government over spending in areas conservatives oppose, such as Planned Parenthood and Obamacare.

He’s also an advocate of cutting the federal workforce and privatizing some functions.

In a statement, President-elect Trump said “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 also has been outspoken about federal management issues.

During a hearing about management problems at the Transportation Security Administration earlier this year, he suggested every government agency suffers from poor leadership and he argued that TSA’s failures highlight the need to de-federalize airport security. “Why are we doing this?” Mulvaney asked. “Why wouldn’t it be better to let private services perform this function?”

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In 2011, Mulvaney introduced legislation to cut the federal workforce through attrition. He estimated the legislation, which called for hiring one federal employee to replace every three workers who retire or leave their job, would save $139 billion over a decade.

Mulvaney also sought unsuccessfully to eliminate federal employee transit benefits as a way to offset disaster recovery aid following Superstorm Sandy in 2013.

In a statement issued by the Trump transition office Mulvaney said:

“The Trump administration will restore budgetary and fiscal sanity back in Washington after eight years of an out-of-control, tax and spend financial agenda, and will work with Congress to create policies that will be friendly to American workers and businesses. Each day, families across our nation make disciplined choices about how to spend their hard earned money, and the federal government should exercise the same discretion that hardworking Americans do every day.”

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