The Senate has confirmed Wall Street veteran Henry Paulson to be the new secretary of the Treasury and replace John Snow, who is eager to leave.The former chairman and chief executive of Goldman Sachs Group breezed through the confirmation process and is expected to take charge at the Treasury Department any day now. Treasury Secretary Snow submitted his resignation to President Bush back on May 30, and he wants to step down from his cabinet post by July 3. During his confirmation hearing, Mr. Paulson was never asked his views on strengthening regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the Bush administration's legislative efforts to reduce the size of the government-sponsored enterprises' giant mortgage portfolios. However, the Goldman Sachs executive made it clear that he sees himself as part of a team and supports many Bush administration policies, including efforts to simplify the tax code. In response to a written question about preserving the mortgage interest deduction, Mr. Paulson noted that the president "strongly supports" homeownership. "I also believe that any tax reform plan should be evaluated as a whole," he said.

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