Dems boycott confirmation votes for Trump nominees

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.

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Republicans expressed outrage at the move, while Democrats gathered outside the Senate Finance Committee hearing room to outline their gripes with the selections.

“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 Grant HatchSenators to Trump: Let Mueller finish Russia probe Conservative justices signal willingness to uphold travel ban Medical marijuana legislation gets support of key House Republican 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 WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenOvernight Cybersecurity: DHS cyber nominee vows to make election security 'top priority' | CIA to allow lawmakers to review classified info on Haspel | Dems raise security concerns about Trump's phone use CIA will allow senators to review classified material on Haspel Senators debate new business deduction, debt in tax law hearing 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 Campbell BrownOvernight Finance: Mulvaney remark on lobbyists stuns Washington | Macron takes swipe at Trump tariffs | Conservatives eye tax cut on capital gains | Gillibrand unveils post office banking bill | GOP chairman pushes banks on gun policies Top banking Dem calls for Mulvaney to resign after lobbyist remarks Senator offers new details on allegations against VA nominee MORE (D-Ohio).

Updated 2:58 p.m.