Well, it happened.
After Democrats began boycotting hearings for various Cabinet-level nominees in the Trump Administration, the Senate GOP did what they believed was necessary: they went for the nuclear option to get the nominees through committee.
In the committee hearings for Treasury Secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin, and for Health and Human Services Secretary nominee Tom Price, all Democrats skipped out, leaving only the Republican members. The boycott is meant to be a means of blocking any nominee that Trump puts forward (regardless of who that nominee is, of course).
During the hearings, the Republican committee members did something to point out the Democrats’ ridiculousness. According to CNN, each member sat on one side of the hearing room, leaving the other part completely empty.
The committee members then decided that enough was enough, and moved to get the nominees through the committee hearing without the Democrats.
Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican, pointed to the “extraordinary circumstances” surrounding the gathering and allowed the Republicans in the room vote to suspend the rules of the committee.
The rules, as previously stood, required that at least one Democrat be present to send any nominee to the Senate floor for further debate. However, the committee suspended the rules given that no Democrats were present, and both nominees were thus sent to the Senate floor.
Some reactions to this were rather humorous.
— Kevin (@kevindandy1) February 1, 2017
Then someone had to call out the account that appears to be nothing more than a Twitter troll, “astroturf.”
— Das Pooch (@DasPooch77) February 1, 2017
And someone also had to remind us all how Harry Reid set this all up in the first place.
— SicSemp (@sicsemptheworld) February 1, 2017
“They on their own accord refused to participate in the exercise,” Hatch said about the Democrat members of the committee. “They have nobody to blame but themselves.”
“I don’t feel a bit sorry for them,” Hatch said.
Now the vote on the Senate floor will still be held with the same rules in place. However, if the Democrats continue their boycotts of the hearings and floor debates, then the nuclear option may actually be used.
The dramatic move could foreshadow strategy from Republicans over contentious battles still to come as Democrats try to use a variety of Senate procedures to stall the newly empowered GOP. The most high-profile of upcoming fights is Trump’s Supreme Court pick Neil Gorsuch, a nomination that would require at least 60 votes to break a filibuster.
The nomination for Tom Price especially was wrought with controversy, after Leftists conjured up a cockamamie notion that Price attempted to benefit from certain pharmaceutical investments with companies that were involved in government contracts.
However, Price has been approved by the initial committee. If confirmed, the Heritage Foundation has five things that Price should do if/when he is confirmed:
Rep. Tom Price—President Trump’s nominee for HHS secretary—was just approved in Senate committee. pic.twitter.com/StbcVM0uiv
— Heritage Foundation (@Heritage) February 1, 2017
So what happens next? Beats me!
Grab your popcorn, folks.
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