The Senate voted 51-49 Thursday to confirm Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., who will be tasked with addressing the nation’s $20 trillion in national debt, as director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Mulvaney, a Republican representing South Carolina’s 5th Congressional District in the House since 2011, will be responsible for directing the budget process and reforming entitlement policy at the Office of Management and Budget.

Romina Boccia, deputy director of the Thomas A. Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal in an email that Mulvaney has a proven track record of conservative leadership.

“With the national debt soon to exceed $20 trillion as spending on health care, old-age entitlements, and net interest is projected to grow steeply, driving our debt to ever greater heights, it’s extremely encouraging to see a fiscal conservative with a conservative track record, such as Mick Mulvaney, confirmed as director of the White House budget office,” Boccia said.

Rep. Mark Meadows, chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, said Mulvaney will serve President Donald Trump’s administration well.

“The House’s loss is President Trump’s gain,” the North Carolina Republican said in a statement. “In my time serving in Congress, Mick Mulvaney is truly one of the sharpest minds and most principled men I have come to know. His passion for his work and his relentless commitment to fiscal responsibility will make him a tremendous OMB director.”

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., voted against Mulvaney’s confirmation, citing concerns that Mulvaney would support cuts to military funding.

During his confirmation hearing, Mulvaney acknowledged the importance of the military.

“The No. 1 priority of the United States federal government is to defend the nation,” Mulvaney said.

Other Republican lawmakers, however, voiced full confidence in Mulvaney’s ability to lead the Office of Management and Budget.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said Mulvaney will “improve the way government does the people’s business.”

House Budget Committee Chairman Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., said Mulvaney is a “tireless advocate” for a responsible budget.

“Mick Mulvaney has been a tireless advocate for a sustainable budget that reduces the national debt,” Black said in a statement. “ … I am confident he will be a great partner in the White House as we work toward a balanced budget.”

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., said in a statement that Mulvaney “is an excellent leader and someone who has consistently represented conservative principles, especially when it comes to our budget.”

Mulvaney has been a leader of the conservative movement in Congress.

He is one of the founding members of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of members in the House who “support open, accountable, and limited government; the Constitution and the rule of law; and policies that promote the liberty, safety and prosperity of all Americans.”

Before representing South Carolina in the House, Mulvaney served in the South Carolina state Senate.

In Congress, Mulvaney served on the House Committee on Financial Services and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Boccia said she is confident that Mulvaney will work to reform entitlement programs and address government spending.

“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.