Senate Confirms Mnuchin, Shulkin

Steven Mnuchin was sworn in Monday as U.S. Treasury Secretary following a 53-47 Senate vote divided along party lines.

During his confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee last month, Mnuchin was scolded by Democrats for failing to disclose almost $US100 million ($130 million) in assets and for not revealing his role as a director for an investment fund based in the Cayman Islands, a well-known tax haven.

According to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell from Kentucky, Mnuchin "is smart, he's capable, and he's got impressive private-sector experience". Action on other economic team members also is said to be possible before the Senate departs at week's end for a 10-day break.

Like others in Trump's Cabinet, Mnuchin is a wealthy businessman.

"Trump and his fellow Republicans in Congress are determined to pack the Administration with bankers and billionaires, ensuring that special interests are represented, not the needs of hardworking Americans".

Democrats have used the bank's story to make the argument that Trump has abandoned the populist message that won him the White House during last year's presidential campaign. "He's breaking his promise to the working people of America", Schumer said. Joe Manchin, W. Va., was the lone Democrat to join all Republicans in supporting Mnuchin.

Democrats in the US Senate had previously criticized Mnuchin for his record on foreclosing on the homes of many Americans during the 2008-2009 financial crisis. In extended floor remarks Sen.

Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said the banks once again are going to have the best friend imaginable at Treasury.

German airport closed after suspicious substance found
The environmental services of the fire brigade are now trying to establish exactly what the substance was. A total of 14 flights were cancelled and several planes were diverted.

Mr Trump said Mr Mnuchin would help make the United States a "jobs magnet".

A less-contentious debate, however, was expected early February 14 when the Senate turns to the nomination of McMahon to be SBA administrator. During his confirmation hearings, he vowed that the department would not be privatized under his watch.

In a less divisive vote late Monday, the Senate unanimously backed the appointment of David Shulkin to helm the Department of Veteran Affairs.

Shulkin, 57, a former Obama administration official, has been the VA's top health official since 2015. The vote was 100-0.

The next steps after McMahon remained unclear. "He's done an unbelievable job and that's what we want for our country". The vote is set for around 7 p.m. EST (0000 GMT).

Mnuchin had invested in at least two real estate projects with Trump, and most recently served as finance director for the Trump campaign.

Puzder has been criticized for expressing a preference for robots as employees, outsourcing jobs, relying heavily on undocumented immigrants and employing an undocumented immigrant as household help.

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