The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Nurses Call on Senate to Reject Steven Mnuchin for Treasury Post

In a letter to the Senate Committee on Finance, National Nurses United today announced its formal opposition to the confirmation of investment banker Steven Mnuchin as Secretary of the Treasurer.

"During every shift at health care facilities across the country, our members care for patients who are suffering from the devastating health and social impacts of U.S. financial policy--a policy that benefits Wall Street at the expense of Main Street--and a health care policy that puts profits ahead of people's health," wrote NNU Co-Presidents Deborah Burger, RN and Jean Ross, RN.

As an investment banker for Goldman Sachs, and then operating a hedge fund, Mnuchin "played an active role in exacerbating the mortgage crisis and pushing policies that widen economic inequality," they wrote.

In a first action upon taking office Friday, the Trump administration announced a rollback in a cut in rate fee for housing mortgages, which will make it harder for low and moderate income families to buy and keep homes. That action, said Burger today, is exactly in line with the aggressive practices carried out by Mnuchin whose victims describe a bank he led as a "foreclosure machine," including in one case the foreclosure of a 90-year-old Florida woman over a 27-cent payment error.

"If there is any lesson from the last election," said Burger, "it is that Americans want a change from a status quo of domination of our economy and Congress by Wall Street, billionaires, and corporate donors. Yet that is exactly what Steve Mnuchin represents. Confirming him is not draining the swamp, it is filling it up with more alligators."

Burger also cited Mnuchin's "failure to disclose $100 million in assets which illustrates an arrogant disdain by the most wealthy in our society of the rules regular Americans must live by. We are unconvinced by the denials Mr. Mnuchin expressed in his initial hearing. His behavior has repeatedly represented a greedy and reckless pattern that should have no place in our society -- and is in direct contradiction to the promises made by President Trump to tilt public policy toward working people and away from the corporate malfeasance that has dominated Washington for far too long."

"Mr. Mnuchin's confirmation hearing illustrated how a vote to confirm him as Treasury Secretary, would be a direct contradiction of any promise to fix the rigged economy and a system that works for the most privileged few," said Burger and Ross in their letter to the Senate Finance Committee.

"Registered nurses," Burger and Ross concluded, "know that their patients and our nation cannot afford four years of policies that will further marginalize the vast majority of Americans. We urge you to reject Mr. Mnuchin for Treasury Secretary and show the American people that you are committed to rebuilding an economy that is fair and meets the people's needs."

Mnuchin is the third Cabinet nominee formally NNU has formally opposed. NNU is also urging rejection of Rep. Tom Price to lead the Department of Health and Human Services and Sen. Jeff Sessions to be the next U.S. Attorney General.

National Nurses United, with close to 185,000 members in every state, is the largest union and professional association of registered nurses in US history.

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