Senate Democrats Boycott Vote on Price, Mnuchin

Wyden says nominees have misled the public, held back information

Senate Finance Chairman Orrin G. Hatch oversees a scheduled confirmation hearing Tuesday that Democrats boycotted on Georgia Rep. Tom Price’s nomination for HHS secretary and Steven Mnuchin’s for Treasury secretary. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Senate Democrats boycotted scheduled votes on two of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees Tuesday morning.

The Senate Finance Committee convened a meeting to vote on the nominations of Georgia Republican Rep. Tom Price for Health and Human Services secretary and Steven Mnuchin to head the Treasury Department, but none of the committee’s Democrats attended.

Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, the ranking Democrat on Finance, said in a statement that the two nominees “have misled the public and held back important information about their backgrounds. Until questions are answered, Democrats believe the committee should not move forward with either nomination.”

Bob Salera, a spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, had harsh words for the senators who skipped the votes.

“Someone needs to remind Senate Democrats that the election is over, and they lost,” Salera said in a statement. “The American people are sick of Senate Democrats’ political grandstanding, and these petty delay tactics are a great illustration of why they will remain in the minority for years to come.”


Boycotts are not new to the Finance Committee. Republicans, led by Sen. Orrin G. Hatch of Utah, boycotted a vote on free trade agreements in 2011 over an included expansion of the Trade Adjustment Assistance program. Hatch was the ranking Republican at the time.

The votes is set to be rescheduled for an as yet unknown date.

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