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 TrumpBiden heading to Kansas City to promote infrastructure package Trump calls Milley a 'f---ing idiot' over Afghanistan withdrawal First rally for far-right French candidate Zemmour prompts protests, violence 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 RobertsMcConnell gets GOP wake-up call Bob Dole, Pat Roberts endorse Kansas AG Derek Schmidt for governor Ex-Sen. Cory Gardner joins lobbying firm 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 WydenSenate parliamentarian looms over White House spending bill Democrats push tax credits to bolster clean energy Five reasons for concern about Democrats' drug price control plan 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 BrownSenate race in Ohio poses crucial test for Democrats Powell says Fed will consider faster taper amid surging inflation Biden faces new pressure from climate groups after Powell pick 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 HatchLobbying world Congress, stop holding 'Dreamers' hostage Drug prices are declining amid inflation fears 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.