Republican Senator Orrin Hatch lashes out after Democrats successfully block two of Trump’s cabinet nominees.
Democrats serving on the Senate Finance Committee have managed to halt the confirmation of Rep. Tom Price as Secretary of Health and Human Services and Steve Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary.
As NBC News reports, Democrats are boycotting Tuesday’s committee votes, effectively delaying those confirmations.
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) told reporters that “We’re not going to this committee today because we want the committee to regroup, get the information, have these two nominees come back in front of the committee, clarify what they lied about — I would hope they would apologize for that — then give us the information that we all need for our states.”
Democrats don’t have enough votes to block those nominations in the Republican-dominated Senate; however, as NBC News continues: “a quorum of committee members must be present to hold a vote to advance the cabinet picks to a final confirmation vote.”
Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) vowed that “these two nominees are going to go through regardless,” and lashed out at Democrats.
Orrin Hatch Senate Finance Committee Chairman: "This is the most pathetic thing I have seen in my whole time at the U.S. Senate" (40 YEARS) pic.twitter.com/zA4UN0n1Ha
— TransitionTracker (@DaveNYviii) January 31, 2017
“They oughta be embarrassed. It’s the most pathetic treatment I’ve seen in my 40 years in the United States Senate,” he said. “I think they ought to stop posturing and acting like idiots.”
“I’m very disappointed in this kind of crap,” he continued, adding: “Let’s not treat people like this.”
Reporters such as Politico’s Seung Min Kim, are expressing concern as Hatch is considered by many to be “the most even-tempered member of the Senate.”
— Seung Min Kim (@seungminkim) January 31, 2017
Both nominees have been accused of withholding vital information from the committee; and, as NBC News notes: “Democrats said they want more information about Price’s investments in health care companies that they contend could pose ethical issues for the incoming head of HHS.” Additionally, “Mnuchin was grilled earlier this month about his company’s role in the housing crisis in 2008.”
Hatch will have to reschedule another committee vote on the nominees, but at the time of publication of this article no date has been set.