Senate confirms controversial Trump nominee Steven Menashi to appeals court

Steven Menashi.
Steven Menashi. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The Senate on Thursday voted 51-41 to confirm Steven Menashi, President Trump's nominee for a federal appeals court, despite bipartisan criticism over his record and refusal to answer questions about his tenure with the Trump administration, the Washington Post reports.

The big picture: While serving as acting general counsel under Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Menashi helped craft a plan to use private Social Security earnings data to deny debt relief to people who had been scammed by for-profit colleges, according to reporting by the New York Times.

Chad Wolf clears hurdle toward acting Homeland Security chief

Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee
Chairman Lindsey Graham speaks during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. Photo: Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

The Senate confirmed Chad Wolf to become undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Strategy, Policy, and Plans on Wednesday in a bipartisan vote of 54-41.

Why it matters: Wolf has been serving in the position in an acting capacity. President Trump has indicated Wolf will be the next acting DHS secretary — confirmation to Wolf's current role is the first step in making that happen.