Senate Republicans unilaterally changed the committee rules to jam through Trump nominees Tom Price and Steven Mnuchin without Democrats being present.
The Hill reported, “Senate Republicans pushed through a pair of President Trump’s Cabinet nominees Wednesday, upending standard committee rules to circumvent a Democratic boycott….By unanimous consent, the Republicans gathered in the hearing room agreed to change the committee’s standing rules, which normally require at least one member of each party to be in attendance for committee work to proceed.”
Senate Republicans violated the intentions of the Founding Fathers by silencing the minority voice and turning the Senate into a body that acts unilaterally.
Democrats have serious questions about Tom Price habit of using his legislative position to benefit in the stock market, and Mnuchin’s handling of foreclosures while he was running OneWest Bank during the financial crisis.
Senate Democrats wanted more questioning and more information before voting, but Republicans decided that obvious questions centering around lies and potential corruption needed to be swept under the rug.
Senate Democrats had no idea that Hatch was about to make such a drastic move:
Senate Finance Cmte Democrats were NOT given a heads up on Hatch’s move to suspend the rules and advance noms without them, Dem aide says. https://t.co/BWQ9FmMDkQ
— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) February 1, 2017
What Sen. Hatch (R-UT) did will be not be forgotten by Democrats. What goes around comes around, which means that someday when Republicans object to a Democratic nominee, don’t be surprised if the committee rules are suspended, and the nominee gets jammed though the Senate.
Senate Republicans just sent an ugly precedent that is nothing less than an attack on principles that are intended to guide “the world’s greatest deliberative body.”