Mnuchin is a Wall Street financier, who has worked for Goldman Sachs and ran his own investment funds and vehicles. In the 2016 presidential campaign, Mnuchin was the national finance chairman for the president’s campaign.
After the “Great Recession,” in 2009, Mnuchin and his partners and investors purchased IndyMac, a troubled California bank that was in the center of the real estate boom and bust. Six years later, after Mnuchin renamed the bank OneWest and worked through its issues, he sold it off. However, Democrats targeted the way Mnuchin and his team worked through the issues, claiming that he was insensitive to people losing their homes because they could not keep up with mortgages from the old IndyMac bank.
The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R.-Utah), said on the Senate floor shortly before the vote that these allegations were unfair and untrue.
Hatch said there was a double standard for nominations. For a Republican nominee any charge, no matter how flimsy, was enough for Democrats to oppose a nominee. But, for Democratic nominees, no charge ever seemed enough.
Republicans hold a 52-to-48 advantage in the Senate, which means that if three GOP senators defect, Democrats have the votes to defeat the confirmation of a Trump appointee–not inconceivable given the president’s difficult relationship with some Republican senators.