Senate Democrats on Tuesday refused to attend a committee vote on two of President Trump’s more controversial nominees, effectively delaying their consideration.
Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee boycotted votes to advance Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), Trump’s pick to head the Department of Health and Human Services, and Steven Mnuchin, his selection to head the Treasury Department. The pair had been among some of the more contentious selections to join Trump’s Cabinet.
“I can’t understand why senators, who know we’re going to have these two people go through, can’t support the committee,” said Chairman Orrin HatchOrrin HatchHatch: I may retire if Romney runs to replace me Can Trump rebound after failure on healthcare bill? Overnight Finance: US preps cases linking North Korea to Fed heist | GOP chair says Dodd-Frank a 2017 priority | Chamber pushes lawmakers on Trump's trade pick | Labor nominee faces Senate MORE (R-Utah).
“I’m very disappointed in this kind of crap. … Some of this is because they just don’t like the president.”
“This is the most pathetic thing I’ve seen in my whole time in the United States Senate,” he added.
"I think they ought to stop posturing and acting like idiots."
Hatch told reporters on Tuesday afternoon that he hopes to try to hold a committee vote again on Wednesday.
"If I can; I'd sure like to," he said.
Asked what could change by then that could get Democrats to drop their boycott, Hatch said, "Well I'm not going to get into that."
Democrats walked out of the Senate Finance Committee hearing room Tuesday morning, arguing that Mnuchin and Price misled senators in their testimony before the panel, and saying they could not allow a vote to proceed without more information.
"He misled Congress and he misled the American people," Sen. Ron WydenRon WydenOvernight Tech: Bill blocking internet privacy rules heads to Trump's desk | Trump taps antitrust chief | Dems push FCC on cellphone cybersecurity Overnight Cybersecurity: First GOP lawmaker calls for Nunes to recuse himself | DHS misses cyber strategy deadline | Dems push for fix to cellphone security flaw Dem lawmakers push for FCC to tackle major cellphone security flaw MORE (D-Ore.), the top Democrat on the panel, said of Price.
Democrats said they wanted to bring Price and Mnuchin in for further questions, saying some of their statements did not line up with the facts.
"We have great concern that Chairman Hatch is asking us to vote today on two nominees who out and out lied to our committee," said Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod BrownPath to 60 narrows for Trump pick Overnight Finance: Trump stock slump | GOP looks to tax bill for lifeline | Trump repeals 'blacklisting rule' | Dem wants ethics probe into Treasury secretary Dems question potential Kushner real estate deal with Chinese firm MORE (D-Ohio).
Updated 2:58 p.m.