Democrats 'no show' at hearings in effort to block Price and Mnuchin

Sen. Orrin Hatch: "This has never happened before."
By Susan Morse
11:19 AM

Democrats on Tuesday boycotted a vote on Rep. Tom Price, for secretary of Health and Human Services and for Steven Mnuchin as Treasury secretary.

The vote for Mnuchin was supposed to take place Monday night, but Democrats delayed so they could attend a candlelight vigil protest against President Donald Trump's executive order banning the immigration of citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries, according to The Hill.

Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said the boycott was without precedent. He would call another meeting for the mark up at his convenience, Hatch said.

"This has never happened before," Hatch said. "We have just been presented with a list of demands by the Democrats. They didn't have the courtesy to tell us a week ago. I was led to believe they were ready to vote today.  (It's) a lack of desire to fulfill their constitutional responsibilities."

It was not immediately clear whether the list of demands pertained to the nomination of Price, Mnuchin or a separate issue.

"Democrats are going to vote against both of these candidates, we know that," Hatch said.

No comment was immediately available from Ranking Member Democrat Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon.

Twitter: @SusanJMorse