GOP ignores Dem boycott, committee OKs Mnuchin, Price nominations

Georgia Rep. Tom Price, left, nominated to be Health and Human Services secretary, arrives with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, for Price's confirmation hearings on January 24 in Washington, D.C. On Wednesday, Republicans in the committee moved Price and Steven Mnuchin's Cabinet nominations forward by approving them without a Democrat being present. Photo by Mike Theiler/UPI

Feb. 1 (UPI) — Republicans in the Senate Finance Committee moved two of President Donald Trump‘s Cabinet nominees forward despite a boycott of the votes by Democrats.

The committee approved the nomination of Steve Mnuchin to become secretary of the Department of Treasury and Georgia Rep. Tom Price to become secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. The committee’s actions will send the process to the Senate, which will vote in full to whether to confirm the nominees.

After Democrats boycotted the Senate Finance Committee meeting for a second day, Republicans on Wednesday changed a rule requiring at least one Democrat be present for the panel to hold a valid vote to send the nomination process to the Senate floor.

Chairman Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, said the decision was carried out under “extraordinary circumstances” and was approved by the Senate parliamentarian.

The 14 Republicans in the committee votes to advance Mnuchin and Price’s nominations to the full Senate.

“They on their own accord refused to participate in the exercise,” Hatch said of the absentee Democrats on the committee. “They have nobody to blame but themselves.”

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., on Twitter said his “friends on the left have decided political stunts are more important than showing up for work.”


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