GOP to Dems Skipping Cabinet Votes: 'Stop Acting Like Idiots'

Democrats want more information before votes for Mnuchin for Treasury, Price for HHS
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2017 12:03 PM CST
GOP to Dems Skipping Cabinet Votes: 'Stop Acting Like Idiots'
In this Jan. 24, 2017, file photo, Rep. Tom Price pauses while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

Senate confirmation hearings for President Trump's Cabinet choices got heated Tuesday—or at least the ones that took place. Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee angered not only by Trump's recent travel ban, but also by his firing of acting AG Sally Yates, forced votes Tuesday to be rescheduled for Steven Mnuchin, Trump's pick for Treasury secretary, and Tom Price, the potential new head of HHS, Reuters and the Hill report. Per SFC rules, at least one Democrat must be in attendance for the vote, and the Democrats now say that, before making a decision on both Mnuchin and Price, they need more information on allegedly contradictory statements the two nominees made. Committee Chair Orrin Hatch ripped on the postponement, calling the Democrats' maneuver "shocking" and "offensive" and advising them "to stop posturing and acting like idiots."

"This is the most pathetic thing I've seen in my whole time in the United States Senate," Hatch said. Meanwhile, Democrats have also been employing what the Washington Post calls "rarely used stalling tactics" to put off the confirmation of Sen. Jeff Sessions as AG, instead showing support during a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting for Yates, who refused to defend Trump's immigration order. Sen. Dianne Feinstein said she had "no confidence" Sessions would ever "have the courage to say no" as Yates did. Meanwhile, Betsy DeVos, trying to squeak in as education secretary, passed a committee vote Tuesday morning that fell strictly along party lines, reports the Post. (Sessions once told Yates it was her duty to say no to the president if "improper" requests were made.)

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