Senate confirms environmental foe to oversee federal spending

The federal budget is now effectively managed by Mick Mulvaney, a man who is not only antagonistic to the very idea of most federal spending but is also a renowned foe of environmental safeguards. The South Carolina representative—who was narrowly confirmed (51–49) to become director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)—has opposed spending for the EPA and Energy Department, aid for disaster victims, and repairs to the lead-contaminated drinking water supply in Flint, Michigan. Mulvaney has also fought federal air and water protections and championed the REINS Act, which would effectively—and permanently—quash all federal standard-setting. During his Senate confirmation hearing, he responded to a question about the urgency of climate change by challenging “the premise of the fact.” As OMB director, Mulvaney will have the power to see his backward ideal of a fiscally weakened government actualized, much to the detriment of federal agencies that protect our environment and public health.

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