CBS News confirms that Steven Mnuchin, the national finance chairman of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, has been recommended to the president-elect for Treasury Secretary, according sources with direct knowledge of transition recommendations.
Mnuchin has long been Trump’s favorite for the position and considered a near shoo-in by political advisers since election night. Trump knows and trusts Mnuchin and didn’t care that most of his fundraisers and bundlers thought he was a odd pick even to be finance chair for the campaign, given his Goldman Sachs history. He worked at the investment bank for 17 years, and he has deep Democratic ties. In past elections, he’s given more to Democratic candidates than to Republicans. In 2016, however, according to Opensecrets.org, he’s given almost entirely to Republicans, with the exception of a $2,000 donation to Kamala Harris, the newly elected senator from California.
No one on the transition list -- which also includes Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas -- is considered as likely a cabinet pick as Mnuchin is for Treasury.
Hensarling is also as eager to remain chairman on the Financial Services Commiittee, so he can oversee efforts to re-write the Dodd-Frank Act which overhauled Wall Street regulations and potentially even pursue Trump’s goal, stated a couple of times during the campaign, of re-instituting some form of the Glass-Steagall Act. The 1933 law required separation of commercial and investment banking, and it was repealed by President Bill Clinton in 1999. On this count, Trump might even have some bipartisan support, given that Sen. Bernie Sanders also supports the re-implementation of Dodd-Frank.
Hensarling has authored the lengthiest and among the most thorough critiques of Dodd-Frank -- especially on its detrimental effect on community banks -- and he has questioned whether it adequately protects taxpayers from a too-big-to-fail bailout scenario. He is eager to write new legislation on this front.