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Rep. Mick Mulvaney also faced questions about his failure to pay taxes and highly partisan record in the House

Senator Murray, senior member of Senate budget committee, questioned Mulvaney on his support for cutting VAWA funding  

Murray: “I was outraged to read that the $10.5 trillion in cuts is built from a blueprint that, among other massive cuts, would eliminate funding for the Violence Against Women Act that helps support survivors of sexual assault and violence. Is that really the message this new administration wants to send to women?”  

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, during a confirmation hearing for President Trump’s pick Rep. John Michael “Mick” Mulvaney to be Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) questioned Rep. Mulvaney on several serious concerns she has about his ability to uphold critical protections and the safety net for people in Washington state and across the country. Senator Murray asked Rep. Mulvaney about his previous support for eliminating funding for the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) programs, and if he would commit to oppose eliminating or cutting funding that protects women from violence. She also expressed serious concern regarding the ability of Republicans to cut $10.5 trillion out of the budget without hurting Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.

Excerpts from Sen. Murray’s opening remarks as prepared:

“I want to be very up-front that I have serious concerns with your nomination. I am of course very troubled by your failure to pay taxes and comply with the law over a period of several years. It is simply not credible to me it never once crossed your mind before now that you might owe taxes on behalf of your household employee. And I think the failure to pay taxes just underlines the need for all Committees to require tax forms from nominees, as Democrats are asking in HELP and committees that don’t currently receive tax returns.”

I am a former Chairman of this committee, and I am proud of the work we were able to do to reach across the aisle and move away from the constant budget crises. We were able to do that because we set aside some serious differences and worked to find common ground—and frankly, I do not see a similar willingness in your background. You are a member of the Tea Party, correct? You supported shutting down the government in the fall of 2013, correct? And you opposed the subsequent bipartisan deal I reached with now-Speaker Ryan later that year to keep the government open, correct?”

“I am very concerned by the signal your nomination sends. In addition, there are reports the transition team is preparing a first Trump budget with $10.5 trillion in spending cuts.  I put these two things together and clearly we are headed right back to more Tea Party extremism and ideological purity - and more dysfunction, brinksmanship, and partisanship.”

I remain outraged at the comments recorded by President Trump where he is bragging about kissing, groping, and trying to have sex with women without their consent, and these cuts would seem to double down on exactly that type of behavior. I would just say I hope one of his first actions as President is not to eliminate the funding that protects women against violence. Mr. Mulvaney, have you previously supported eliminating funding for VAWA?”

Full text of Sen. Murray’s opening remarks and questions as prepared:

“Thank you Chairman Enzi and welcome Congressman Mulvaney. I know we have not yet found time to schedule our one-on-one meeting, but I look forward to making that work in the near future. I want to be very up-front that I have serious concerns with your nomination.

“I am of course very troubled by your failure to pay taxes and comply with the law over a period of several years. It is simply not credible to me it never once crossed your mind before now that you might owe taxes on behalf of your household employee. And I think the failure to pay taxes just underlines the need for all Committees to require tax forms from nominees, as Democrats are asking in HELP and committees that don’t currently receive tax returns.

“Unpaid taxes, however, are not my only concern with your fitness for this job. I am a former Chairman of this committee, and I am proud of the work we were able to do to reach across the aisle and move away from the constant budget crises.

“We were able to do that because we set aside some serious differences and worked to find common ground—and frankly, I do not see a similar willingness in your background. You are a member of the Tea Party, correct? You supported shutting down the government in the fall of 2013, correct? And you opposed the subsequent bipartisan deal I reached with now-Speaker Ryan later that year to keep the government open, correct?

“In fact, you also opposed the Budget Control Act and the 2015 bipartisan deal, correct? Do you acknowledge you will have to work with Democrats in the next round of budget and debt limit deals?  So then do you commit to pushing back against the Tea Party if they pressure you to not work on a bipartisan basis?

“I am very concerned by the signal your nomination sends. In addition, there are reports the transition team is preparing a first Trump budget with $10.5 trillion in spending cuts.  I put these two things together and clearly we are headed right back to more Tea Party extremism and ideological purity - and more dysfunction, brinksmanship, and partisanship.  

“And this approach will have profoundly harmful consequences. Let me just give one example. I was honored to participate in the women’s march on Saturday and I want those watching to know I stand ready to do whatever it takes to protect the health and safety of women.  So, I was outraged to read that the $10.5 trillion in cuts is built from a blueprint that, among other massive cuts, would eliminate funding for the Violence Against Women Act that helps support survivors of sexual assault and violence. Is that really the message this new administration wants to send to women?

“I remain outraged at the comments recorded by President Trump where he is bragging about kissing, groping, and trying to have sex with women without their consent, and these cuts would seem to double down on exactly that type of behavior. I would just say I hope one of his first actions as President is not to eliminate the funding that protects women against violence.

“Mr. Mulvaney, have you previously supported eliminating funding for VAWA? 

“If confirmed, would you commit today to oppose eliminating or cutting funding that protects women from violence? 

“Finally, Mr. Chairman, as someone who sat in your chair and knows the numbers, I do not believe you can cut $10.5 trillion out of the budget without hurting Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.”

 

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