Senate Democrats block vote on Trump Treasury pick

Senate Democrats on Monday blocked a committee vote on President Trump’s Treasury secretary nominee as pressure mounts among the minority to oppose the new administration’s Cabinet picks.

Democrats blocked a routine procedural step that would have allowed the Senate Finance Committee to vote on whether to recommend Steven Mnuchin be confirmed as Treasury secretary by the full Senate. The committee will vote on Mnuchin’s nomination Tuesday morning, when it will also consider Rep. Tom Price’s (R-Ga.) nomination to be secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

“While not surprising, this is an unfortunate and needless delay that simply means the Committee will reconvene tomorrow morning to vote on the nominee for U.S. Treasury Secretary,” said Julia Lawless, spokeswoman for Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchBottom line Bottom line Bottom line MORE (R-Utah).

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Democrats delayed the Mnuchin vote so they could attend a candlelight vigil protesting Trump's executive order temporarily banning the immigration of citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries to the U.S., said Rachel McCleery, spokeswoman for ranking Finance Committee Democrat Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenCBO releases analysis on extending increased unemployment benefits Overnight Health Care: Hydroxychloroquine ineffective in preventing COVID-19, study finds | WHO to resume hydroxychloroquine clinical research | WHO says no evidence coronavirus is mutating Bipartisan lawmakers press Trump administration to get COVID-19 aid to Medicaid providers MORE (Ore.).

“Democratic Members on the Senate Finance Committee have asked to postpone the markup of Mr. Mnuchin in order to attend the candlelight vigil happening at 6 p.m. this evening," said McCleery. "This delay will allow members to protest the President’s unconstitutional ban on Muslims entering the United States while voting on Mr. Mnuchin’s nomination little more than 12 hours later.”

Trump critics around the country have called on Democrats to oppose all of his nominees, regardless of their credentials or experience, as a way to block the new administration’s agenda. Even progressive icons Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenTwitter CEO: 'Not true' that removing Trump campaign video was illegal, as president has claimed Biden formally clinches Democratic presidential nomination Warren, Pressley introduce bill to make it a crime for police officers to deny medical care to people in custody MORE (Mass.) and Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownDemocratic senators say police crackdowns undermine US response to Hong Kong Democratic senators kneel during moment of silence for George Floyd 21 senators urge Pentagon against military use to curb nationwide protests MORE (Ohio) were excoriated by some supporters for voting in favor of Ben Carson’s nomination to be secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs partner and Hollywood producer, has been a prime target for Senate Democrats. They’ve focused largely on his time leading the California-based OneWest Bank, which foreclosed on more than 100,000 homes during the 2008 housing crisis. 

Even so, Mnuchin made it through his Jan. 19 confirmation hearing with little incident, meaning he’ll likely be confirmed along party lines.

— Updated at 5:06 p.m.