By Nick Timiraos and Peter Nicholas

President-elect Donald Trump said Saturday he would nominate Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R., S.C.) as his budget director, which would place a fiscal conservative who has warned against larger deficits in charge of the White House Office of Management and Budget.

If confirmed by the Senate, Mr. Mulvaney would be charged with putting together Mr. Trump's initial budget proposal to Congress, which is likely to include campaign promises such as the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, an overhaul of the tax code and an infrastructure-spending program.

The OMB director also coordinates major new executive-agency regulations, which would give Mr. Mulvaney a key role in attempting to repeal scores of Obama-era rules, another of Mr. Trump's campaign promises.

"Right now we are nearly $20 trillion in debt, but Mick is a very high-energy leader with deep convictions for how to responsibly manage our nation's finances and save our country from drowning in red ink," Mr. Trump said in a statement Saturday.

Mr. Mulvaney was elected to Congress in 2010 as part of the tea party wave. Before going into politics, Mr. Mulvaney worked as a lawyer and started a small home-building company.

In a statement, Mr. Mulvaney said, "The Trump administration will restore budgetary and fiscal sanity back in Washington after eight years of an out-of-control, tax and spend financial agenda, and will work with Congress to create policies that will be friendly to American workers and businesses."

Several former members of Congress have held the budget post in other administrations, including Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio) for President George W. Bush and Leon Panettaunder President Bill Clinton.

The selection of Mr. Mulvaney is notable in part because as a member of the House Freedom Caucus, a group of conservative lawmakers, he has been critical of recent bipartisan efforts to boost spending above caps approved by lawmakers earlier this decade.

Mr. Trump has proposed big spending increases in defense, veterans' health care and infrastructure. "Sometimes you have to prime the pump," he told Time Magazine last month.

Mr. Mulvaney, meanwhile, said last month he hoped Republicans would be as committed to spending discipline under Mr. Trump as they had been under President Barack Obama.

"You can't just like spending that your party wants and dislike spending the other party wants," he said in a November interview. On infrastructure, for example, he said any new spending shouldn't add to deficits. "You'd like to think we could be consistent, and a Republican deficit is the same as a Democrat deficit," he said.

Write to Nick Timiraos at and Peter Nicholas at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 17, 2016 08:59 ET (13:59 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2016 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.