January 24, 2017

Van Hollen Statement in Opposition to Confirmation of Treasury Nominee Steve Mnuchin

Today U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen issued the following statement announcing his opposition to the confirmation of Steve Mnuchin to serve as the next Secretary of the Treasury:

"When we review each of President Trump's nominees, we must consider the question of experience. Unlike some of the men and women up for consideration, Steve Mnuchin has experience working with banks. But that experience is some of the most troubling part of his record.

"Last week, I had the opportunity to listen to families who had been mistreated by Steve Mnuchin's bank, OneWest. They each told a different story, but the overall impact was clear - at every turn, OneWest chose to foreclose on homes instead of working with these Americans to keep a roof over their heads. Mr. Mnuchin's bank was actually nicknamed a 'foreclosure machine.'

"At the height of the housing crisis, my Congressional office was flooded with calls from Marylanders who were in desperate need of help, up against some banks that were only interested in profit, and had nowhere else to turn. We were able to work with many families to help them keep their homes - but that work is not over, and communities in my state and across the country are still recovering. To install someone as the Secretary of the Treasury who engaged in such predatory lending practices and profited off the misery of others is deeply concerning. In recent testimony before a forum of outside witnesses about Mr. Mnuchin's nomination, an expert witness described OneWest's abuses as among the worst of the worst.

"Mr. Mnuchin's nomination also represents an astonishing about-face of President Trump's campaign promise to drain the swamp. Despite campaign-trail promises of openness, Mr. Mnuchin failed to list $100 million in assets in his financial disclosure forms and to disclose his connections to an investment fund in the tax-haven Cayman Islands. And while he claims tax reform should prioritize middle class families, as Secretary of the Treasury he would be charged with implementing a Republican agenda that favors special interests and the ultra-wealthy over everyone and everything else.

"The Secretary of the Treasury must do what's best for American taxpayers, workers, and homeowners. Given his record, I do not believe Mr. Mnuchin meets that standard and I oppose his nomination."