OMB Nominee Has Supported Hiring Freeze, Tight Budgets

President-elect Trump’s choice for OMB director, Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., has a record of supporting spending cuts similar to those outlined by the CBO in its most recent budget options report. He has sponsored several bills, never enacted, aiming to reduce the federal workforce by 10 percent over four years by imposing a partial hiring freeze in which agencies could hire only one employee for every three who depart, with exceptions similar to those the Trump campaign listed in its plan for a hiring freeze—national security or public safety or health—and that would have placed limits, although not a total ban, on hiring contractors to make up for the work. He also was a prime sponsor of a 2011 bill that passed the House, but not the Senate, to set a series of spending caps on government spending with a goal of balancing the budget, to be followed by a Constitutional amendment requiring balance. At a hearing this year he also floated the possibility of restarting the OMB Circular A-76 process, in which commercial-type federal jobs are considered for possible contracting out—a program that has been suspended since 2009 but that was advocated by prior Republican administrations. Mulvaney is a leader of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of Republicans particularly conservative on fiscal and social policy issues.