So, it’s February 15. By law, the president is required to submit a budget to Congress by the first Monday of this month. That was over a week ago. Now, this being a new administration, we expect them to be a few weeks late, as has typically happened in recent times. The difference this year, though, is that President Trump still doesn’t have a budget director. We’re four weeks into his presidency, and we’re only just now getting around to confirming his nominee. For those of you keeping score at home, that’s the longest delay in recent history. Every one of the last six presidents had their budget director confirmed by a week’s time—as in seven days. In other words, what we’re seeing here is a deliberate act of obstruction.

And here’s the real problem: We have serious work to do. It’s that much more difficult for the president to do his job when all he has to work with is a headless-horseman bureaucracy. Senate Democrats might consider this payback. They might consider it their chance to audition for the 2020 presidential primary. But the American people are paying the price for this obstruction. So I want to say again: This is not a game. This is not a protest. This is our job. This is what the American people sent us to do. And it’s time we got down to business.

In that spirit, I want to say a few words in support of the president’s nominee for Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney.

I don’t have to recite Mick’s biography for most of you. He’s been representing the good people of South Carolina’s Fifth District in the House of Representatives for more six years now. Before that, he led an impressive career as what he calls a “serial entrepreneur,” starting four different businesses. I hear some of them may have even succeeded.  He’s worked in fields as varied as law, real estate, homebuilding, and restaurants. He’s highly educated and very accomplished. And I’d like to point out: He’s a friend of mine—a trusted confidant, someone whose advice and counsel I’ve often sought. So I can say with confidence he’ll serve President Trump and the American people with dedication and distinction.

I believe Mick will bring a needed voice to the president’s Cabinet—a voice for fiscal responsibility after so many years of irresponsible, the-sky’s-the-limit spending. All that experience in the real economy gives him something more than a lengthy resume. He knows from personal experience what it takes to create jobs and create opportunity out of almost nothing. He knows the self-discipline it takes, the hard work, the perseverance. He knows what Americans have to go through every day just to earn an honest dollar. And that’s why he has been so protective of every taxpayer dollar ever put in his care. That’s the kind of man we need in our next OMB director. It’s only when Washington appreciates what goes into the making of all those taxpayer dollars that it will show the taxpayers the respect they deserve.

And so, I want to express my strong support for the next director of the Office of Management and Budget, my friend Mick Mulvaney.