Hearing derailed after senator suggests colleague needs Valium

Steven Mnuchin’s confirmation hearing quickly went off the rails Thursday as Democrats and Republicans feuded over a GOP lawmaker's quip about giving antidepressants to the panel’s top Democrat.

Mnuchin, President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpComey: Barr is 'sliming his own department' GOP Mueller critic says Flynn contacted him during special counsel probe: report Acting DHS secretary threatened to quit after clashing with Miller: report MORE’s pick to head the Treasury Department, had yet to give his opening statement before the Senate Finance Committee when an offhand remark by Sen. Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Tough questions await Trump immigration plan Pat Robertson: Alabama 'has gone too far' with 'extreme' abortion law Pat Robertson on if Equality Act passes: The land will 'vomit you out' MORE (R-Kan.) riled up committee members.

Roberts, who was permitted to ask a handful of questions before jumping to another hearing, jabbed at Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenHouse to vote on retirement bill next week Hillicon Valley: Trump signs order to protect US networks from Chinese tech | Huawei downplays order | Trump declines to join effort against online extremism | Facebook restricts livestreaming | FCC proposes new tool against robocalls Senate Dems introduce election security bill requiring paper ballots MORE (D-Ore.) after he gave a lengthy critique of Mnuchin’s experience.

“Sen. Wyden, I’ve got a Valium pill here that you might want to take for a second round,” he joked.

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The crack did not go over well with Democrats. Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownLawmakers grapple with the future of America's workforce The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Pass USMCA Coalition - Restrictive state abortion laws ignite fiery 2020 debate On The Money: Mnuchin signals officials won't release Trump tax returns | Trump to hold off on auto tariffs | WH nears deal with Mexico, Canada on metal tariffs | GOP fears trade war fallout for farmers | Warren, regulator spar over Wells Fargo MORE (D-Ohio) pounced on the remarks, calling it an inauspicious start to the committee’s work for the year. And Wyden accused Roberts of wasting precious time.

“I just can’t quite believe that the senator would say that,” said Brown. “I just hope that doesn’t set the tone for 2017.”

Members of both parties quickly began talking over each other, with Finance Committee Chairman Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchTrump gambles in push for drug import proposal Biden's role in Anita Hill hearings defended by witness not allowed to testify 'Congress' worst tax idea ever'? Hardly. MORE (R-Utah) struggling to regain control.

Roberts said the comment amounted to a “little pinprick of humor,” and apologized “if I have, you know, uh, encouraged your wrath, sir.”

Wyden again complained that Roberts was taking up valuable committee time with his comments. And in turn, Roberts expressed his own wrath.

“Fine, Ron! I’m done!” he said angrily as he wrapped up his remarks.