Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee boycotted the already rescheduled Tuesday meeting to vote on two of President Donald Trump's Cabinet nominees — Steve Mnuchin, as Treasury secretary, and Tom Price, as head of the Health and Human Services department — further delaying the vote.
According to an article in Reuters by Susan Cornwell and David Lawder, “At least one Democrat must be present for the committee votes to take place.”
From the article:
Democrats said they were postponing the vote because they wanted more information on Price's stock trades in an Australian medical company and reports that Mnuchin's former bank, OneWest, used automated "robo-signings" of foreclosure documents, which apparently contradicted statements the nominees had made to senators.
Republican Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, called the Democratic boycott "shocking" and "offensive."
"They're going to vote no. They've made that very clear," he said to other Republicans on the committee. "I think they ought to stop posturing and acting like idiots. What's the matter with the other party? Are they that bitter about Donald Trump?"
The tweet below is a quote from Sen. Hatch.
.@SenOrrinHatch: "I don't want to hear anything more from Democrats to 'do our jobs.' They're not here. We are."— Heritage on the Hill (@HeritageOTH) January 31, 2017
The committee originally planned to meet Monday evening to vote on the confirmation of Mnuchin, but Senate Democrats moved to delay the vote.
Regardless of the delay or any extra information, several top Democrats say they do not plan to support Mnuchin’s nomination, either in the Senate Finance Committee or in the full Senate.
This includes Sen. Mark Warner, D-Virginia, who asked Mnuchin about housing finance reform during Mnuchin’s confirmation hearing, stating on Monday that he will not vote for Mnuchin.
The new controversy behind Mnuchin’s vote stems from a story in The Columbus Dispatch, which claims that Mnuchin lied to the members of the Senate Finance Committee during his testimony when questioned about the foreclosure practices of OneWest Bank, the bank that Mnuchin formerly chaired.
Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, who also sits on the Senate Finance Committee, put out a statement on the boycott saying, him, along with fellow Dems, demand “the nominees provide responses to requests on their business dealings that have remained unanswered and come back before the committee and answer questions about false testimony given to the committee.”