Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-SC), Donald Trump’s pick for White House budget director, failed to pay over $15,000 in payroll taxes for a babysitter he and his wife employed after the birth of their triplets, the New York Times reported Wednesday.
“I have come to learn during the confirmation review process that I failed to pay FICA and federal and state unemployment taxes on a household employee for the years 2000-2004,” Mulvaney admitted in a statement to the Senate Budget Committee obtained by the Times.
The South Carolina Republican said in the statement that he had paid over $15,000 in taxes and intends to pay the state tax bill, as well as penalties and interests, to account for the unpaid sum.
In past administrations, similar tax compliance failures have sunk the prospects of Cabinet nominees. President Barack Obama’s nominee for Health and Human Services secretary, Tom Daschle, withdrew his nomination in 2009 after it was revealed during the confirmation process that he failed to pay roughly $140,000 in back taxes. Former New York City police commissioner Bernie Kerik, George W. Bush’s pick to lead the Department of Homeland Security, also withdrew from consideration in 2004 after disclosing that he had not paid taxes for a domestic employee who may have been an undocumented immigrant.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said Wednesday that Trump’s nominees should be held to the same standard as those of previous administrations.
“If failure to pay taxes was disqualifying for Democratic nominees, then the same should be true for Republican nominees,” he said in a statement.
The Times was unable to reach Mulvaney’s office for comment, but a spokesman for the Trump transition team expressed support for him in a statement to the newspaper.
“Congressman Mulvaney raised the issue surrounding the care of his premature triplets immediately upon being tapped for this position, and has taken the appropriate follow-up measures,” John Czwartacki told the Times. “The administration fully stands behind Representative Mulvaney.”
Mulvaney’s Senate confirmation hearing is slated for Jan. 24.