Senate GOP Bypasses Dem Boycott of Mnuchin, Price By Suspending Rules

Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday morning suspended the rules and voted to approve President Donald Trump’s nominees to lead the Treasury Department and the Department of Health and Human Services even though Democrats on the committee were not present.

Democrats on the committee refused to vote on Steve Mnuchin and Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) until both nominees answered additional questions.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), the chair of the committee, said at the meeting that under the “extraordinary circumstances” the committee could vote to suspend the rules and said that the Senate Parliamentarian has approved the suspension, according to CNN.

“They on their own accord refused to participate in the exercise,” he said, per CNN. “They have nobody to blame but themselves.”

The Finance Committee could have either voted to refer the nominees to the Senate unfavorably, favorably, or without an opinion.

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The Senate Finance Committee was initially scheduled to vote on Mnuchin and Price on Tuesday, but Republicans were forced to postpone the vote due to a boycott from Democratic members of the committee.

The Democratic members of the committee explained their boycott in a Wednesday letter to Hatch and said that they would not vote on the nominees until Mnuchin and Price answered certain questions.

Democrats mentioned that after Price claimed he was not given a special discount on stock for an Australian pharmaceutical company, the Wall street Journal reported that Price had been given a discount. The CEO of the company later denied that Price was given a special offer.

The senators also said that Mnuchin has not sufficiently answered questions about foreclosures carried out by OneWest Bank, where Mnuchin was CEO. The Columbus Dispatch reported on Sunday that Mnuchin may have been “untruthful” about the process the bank used for signing off on foreclosures.

Read the Democrats’ letter:

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