Mick Mulvaney Calls for Privatizing Medicare, Deep Budget Cuts
On January 4, 2017, the Senate Budget Committee held a confirmation hearing for Representative Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). OMB plays a critical role setting regulatory policy and establishing funding requests for each department, including the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD.)
Mr. Mulvaney is likely to be opposed by many Senate Democrats. A founding member of the House Freedom Caucus, Mr. Mulvany helped lead the 2013 shutdown of the federal government and repeatedly voted against raising the nation’s debt ceiling. Mr. Mulvaney has called Social Security a “Ponzi scheme,” and he advocates for privatizing Medicare and significantly raising the retirement age for Medicare and Social Security.
His nomination has also raised concerns among some Republicans, particularly Senator John McCain (R-AZ) who disagrees with Mr. Mulvaney’s position on defense spending. Mr. Mulvaney argues that any increase to the military budget must be accompanied by offsetting cuts to non-defense spending.
OMB prepares the President’s budget proposal to Congress and supervises the administration of the executive branch agencies. OMB evaluates the effectiveness of agency programs, policies, and procedures, assesses competing funding demands among agencies, and sets funding priorities. OMB ensures that agency reports, rules, testimony, and proposed legislation are consistent with the president’s budget and with administration policies.
OMB also oversees and coordinates the administration’s procurement, financial management, information, and regulatory policies. In each of these areas, OMB’s role is to help improve administrative management, to develop better performance measures and coordinating mechanisms, and to reduce any unnecessary burdens on the public.
OMB’s critical mission includes budget development and execution is a prominent government-wide process managed from the Executive Office of the President (EOP) and a device by which a president implements his policies, priorities, and actions in everything from the Department of Defense to NASA.