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 TrumpUS reimposes UN sanctions on Iran amid increasing tensions Jeff Flake: Republicans 'should hold the same position' on SCOTUS vacancy as 2016 Trump supporters chant 'Fill that seat' at North Carolina rally 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 Morning Report - Sponsored by National Industries for the Blind - Trump seeks to flip 'Rage' narrative; Dems block COVID-19 bill GOP senators say coronavirus deal dead until after election Trump says he'll sign USPS funding if Democrats make concessions 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 WydenGOP senator blocks Schumer resolution aimed at Biden probe as tensions run high Republican Senators raise concerns over Oracle-TikTok deal Hillicon Valley: TikTok, Oracle seek Trump's approval as clock winds down | Hackers arrested for allegedly defacing U.S. websites after death of Iranian general | 400K people register to vote on Snapchat 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 BrownBipartisan praise pours in after Ginsburg's death Emboldened Democrats haggle over 2021 agenda Hillicon Valley: Russia 'amplifying' concerns around mail-in voting to undermine election | Facebook and Twitter take steps to limit Trump remarks on voting | Facebook to block political ads ahead of election 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 HatchBottom line Bottom line Senate GOP divided over whether they'd fill Supreme Court vacancy  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.