Each of the 53 "yeas" cast in the U.S. Senate on Monday night to confirm former Goldman Sachs partner Steven Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary will "haunt those who cast it in the months and years ahead," one progressive advocacy group warned in the wake of the vote.
"Voting to put Steve Mnuchin in charge of the Treasury Department isn't just a slap in the face to the millions of Americans who lost everything in the great recession, it's a disgustingly cynical bet that no one will notice that U.S. senators are acting like Wall Street puppets while pretending to stand up for working people," declared Democracy for America (DFA) executive director Charles Chamberlain following the 53-47 vote (roll call here).
"Republicans in the Senate cannot excuse putting a lying foreclosure profiteer at the head of our economy by pointing to party loyalty or a fear of Donald Trump," added Demand Progress campaign director Kurt Walters of the man some have dubbed the "foreclosure king."
But it wasn't just Republicans. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) was the only Democrat to join the GOP and vote in Mnuchin's favor—and as with his vote to confirm Jeff Sessions as Attorney General last week, Manchin drew significant flak for that decision.
"The 53 senators, including Democrat Joe Manchin, who voted to put millions of jobs at risk by putting another Wall Street banker in charge of the Treasury Department shouldn't expect to keep theirs," said Chamberlain.
Somebody explain to me how voting against a Wall Street critter like Stephen Mnuchin would have hurt Joe Manchin in WVa?
— Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) February 14, 2017
— Sam Humphries (@samhumphries) February 14, 2017
Joe Manchin voted to confirm both Steven Mnuchin and Jeff Sessions. We'd win a hella lot more if we stopped abandoning our principles
— Emanuel Zbeda (@therealezway) February 14, 2017
What's in a name? Manchin is the only Democrat to vote for Mnuchin.
— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) February 14, 2017
"Starting tonight, we will ensure that Joe Manchin hears from his West Virginia constituents who disapprove of his voting with Wall Street against working families," said Adam Green of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. "Manchin's vote will not just hurt millions of people—it will hurt Democrats in 2018. Democrats in red states will lose badly in the 2018 general election if they don't excite voters by standing up to Wall Street and big-money interests with backbone."
Ahead of Monday's vote, it was reported that Mnuchin is looking to fill cabinet positions with Wall Street executives and Republican establishment figures—news that led Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to accuse President Donald Trump of "backtracking on every economic promise that he made to the American people."