Ultimately, time will tell to what extent Mulvaney, a South Carolina Republican first elected to congress in 2010, will as White House budget chief be able to steer federal agencies towards greater fiscal discipline- the kind that even some members of his own party view as draconian.
Delays in processing Mulvaney's nomination appear to be contributing to a lag in producing Trump's much-awaited budget plan for the fiscal year that begins October 1.
Connelly, who operatives say is close to Mulvaney and Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.), announced his candidacy on Monday.
Trump has said that strengthening the military is more important than balancing the budget and is committed to ending budget caps.
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McCain said on the Senate floor that Mulvaney's ardent opposition to defense spending was why he couldn't support him.
Mulvaney easily won a fourth term in November with 59 percent of the vote. In the House, Mulvaney was among the conservative Republicans who supported shutting down the government as a tactic in spending fights.
"I am hopeful he'll be able to move the needle in the right direction on entitlement reforms, tackling the nation's out-of-control spending and debt problem head on, to secure opportunity and prosperity for current and future generations", she said.
Additionally, it wound up costing USA taxpayers "billions" in new investment to fix the problem caused by military withdrawals from Europe that McCain said Mulvaney supported "in the name of spending money".