Yesterday, Donald Trump’s nominees to head Treasury and Health and Human Services were denied a committee vote by a Democrat boycott:
Senate Democrats on Tuesday refused to attend a committee vote on two of President Trump’s more controversial nominees, effectively delaying their consideration.
Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee boycotted votes to advance Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), Trump’s pick to head the Department of Health and Human Services, and Steven Mnuchin, his selection to head the Treasury Department. The pair had been among some of the more contentious selections to join Trump’s Cabinet.
Finally, Orrin “don’t count your Hatches before they chicken” Hatch had finally had enough.
Senate Republicans pushed through a pair of President Trump’s Cabinet nominees Wednesday, upending standard committee rules to circumvent a Democratic boycott.
The Senate Finance Committee advanced a pair of Trump’s nominees with only Republican members present — Steven Mnuchin to head the Treasury Department, and Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) as secretary of Health and Human Services.
By unanimous consent, the Republicans gathered in the hearing room agreed to change the committee’s standing rules, which normally require at least one member of each party to be in attendance for committee work to proceed.
#Breaking – Senate Finance Committee votes to confirm Tom Price and Steve Mnuchin without Dems. pic.twitter.com/RnfPFC3ZLb
— FOX Business (@FoxBusiness) February 1, 2017
This isn’t the way the Senate should operate. It shouldn’t have been necessary for Hatch to suspend the rules to get votes on Mnuchin and Price. Elections have consequences and one of those is that the president has a lot of leeway in choosing his cabinet members. I’m not a huge Mnuchin fan, but the guy inarguably is qualified to be Treasury secretary. Tom Price will be the best HHS secretary in decades. The Democrats voiced their opposition and registered the premise for their inevitable “I told you so” speeches in the future. But obstruction with no end game beyond obstruction itself is not resistance. It is childish and it creates the necessity for action like that Hatch took today which are corrosive to the relationships necessary to make a body as small as the Senate function.