Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee suspended the rules Wednesday morning to vote on cabinet nominees Steven Mnuchin and Tom Price without any Democrats present.
The Democratic members of the committee boycotted the votes on Tuesday, charging Mnuchin, who is nominated for treasury secretary, and Price, who is President Donald Trump’s pick to head the Department of Health and Human Services, with misleading the panel during confirmation hearings.
When Democrats also refused to show up on Wednesday, Republicans agreed by unanimous consent 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,” as The Hill explains.
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), who initiated Tuesday’s boycott, tweeted a photo of the half-full hearing room on Wednesday:
“Steven Mnuchin is such an illegitimate, compromised nominee that Republicans had to change the rules to force through his nomination, just like Mnuchin will change the rules on Wall Street to favor bankers and billionaires at the expense of working families,” the Progressive Change Campaign Committee said in a statement.
Mnuchin and Price now head to the Senate floor, where tensions are rising.
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