Lizard People

Trump’s Budget Director Picks Fight With Trump’s Treasury Secretary

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

If Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney are both lizards, Mnuchin is clearly the house-trained one.

Mnuchin has asked Congress to pass a clean bill to raise the federal debt ceiling by August because, as Bloomberg reported yesterday, rich people are withholding their taxes and moving the debt ceiling deadline up.

Mick Mulvaney, however, has his own ideas. Mulvaney says Congress should tie massive spending cuts to the debt ceiling.

In an interview with the Washington Examiner published Wednesday evening, Mulvaney said that he would ”like to see things attached to it that drive certain spending reforms and debt reforms in the future."

Mulvaney’s stance is in line with that of the Freedom Caucus, which he helped found when he was still in Congress. But it is unusual for a member of the administration, particularly when contradicting the Treasury secretary.

The general idea or "plan," if the GOP even creates plans anymore, is to pass something resembling a budget in September ahead of the next fiscal year which begins on October 1st. But Mick Mulvaney is saying they should tackle some of the bigger questions of federal spending ahead of the August debt ceiling deadline.

If you asked me I'd say it's fairly unlikely they will be able to tackle those big questions before the October deadline, but Mulvaney is asking them to do so much sooner. I just glanced at the legislative schedule and, accounting for the July 4th holiday, Mulvaney is asking them to pass "spending reforms" in the next 30 days of session before the debt ceiling is breached.

I have to say the amount of time I spend maniacally laughing my ass off at Mick Mulvaney is probably not normal. I've said picking him was one of Trump's biggest mistakes, but he may be the perfect man for Trump. He's a complete horse's ass, he hates facts, and he has no idea what he's doing.

It's unlikely Congress will follow Mulvaney's direction because, as I've also said before, he is a man so deranged even his fellow Republicans give him dirty looks. They also simply don't have enough time to do what he's asking.

A fully functional Congress (controlled by Democrats) would have begun the process passing a comprehensive budget for the next fiscal year as soon as the current session began, but our dysfunctional, Republican-controlled Congress did not even fund the federal government for the remainder of the previous fiscal year until the end of April.

It's not clear to me what the House is even doing at the moment, but Senate Republicans are currently still debating how many millions of people should be kicked off healthcare.

  • Ken Kohl

    I get a little chuckle every time I see Mulvaney’s name-card with the word “Hon.” on it.

  • muselet

    Steve Mnuchin has worked in banking and investments. However imperfectly, he understands the economy.

    Mick Mulvaney was a private-practice lawyer for five years or so before climbing the greasy pole of South Carolina politics, ultimately reaching Congress, throwing in with the TPers and helping to found the House Freedumb Caucus. He proudly declared his willingness to shut down the government rather than raise the debt limit during the Obama administration. He understands nothing.

    It feels very odd to describe a former Goldman Sachs executive as the voice of reason, but—relatively speaking—that’s what he is. Look for Mulvaney’s view to prevail in the Trump administration and Congress.