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 TrumpHow to stand out in the crowd: Kirsten Gillibrand needs to find her niche Countdown clock is on for Mueller conclusions Omar: White supremacist attacks are rising because Trump publicly says 'Islam hates us' 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 RobertsPompeo jokes he'll be secretary of State until Trump 'tweets me out of office' Senators offer bipartisan bill to fix 'retail glitch' in GOP tax law Kansas Senate race splits wide open without Pompeo 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 WydenHillicon Valley: Mueller delivers report, ending investigation | FEMA exposed info of 2.3M disaster survivors | Facebook asks judge to toss DC privacy lawsuit | Trump picks his first CTO | FCC settles lawsuit over net neutrality records Treasury expands penalty relief to more taxpayers Overnight Health Care: Senators seek CBO input on preventing surprise medical bills | Oversight panel seeks OxyContin documents | Pharmacy middlemen to testify on prices | Watchdog warns air ambulances can put patients at 'financial risk' 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 BrownTrump mounts Rust Belt defense Warren, Klobuchar call on FTC to curtail use of non-compete clauses The Hill's Morning Report - Trump, Dems put manufacturing sector in 2020 spotlight 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 HatchNY's political prosecution of Manafort should scare us all Congress must break its addiction to unjust tax extenders The FDA crackdown on dietary supplements is inadequate 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.