Wyden Statement on Finance Committee’s Partisan Action to Push Through Nominees
Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today issued the following statement after Committee Republicans forced through the nominations of Congressman Price and Mr. Mnuchin and also voted to break committee rules to allow them to do so:
“It’s deeply troubling to me that Republicans on the Finance Committee chose to break the rules in the face of strong evidence of two nominees’ serious ethical problems.” Wyden said. “Today, for the first time in history, the Senate Finance Committee broke the rules to push through on a partisan basis two nominees; one, Congressman Tom Price, whose stock trades call into question whether he will work in the public interest or his own, and the other, Steven Mnuchin, who appears to have misled the committee on his company’s foreclosure practices after the Great Recession.
“Boycotts of committee meetings are not unheard of – my Republican colleagues, led by Chairman Hatch, took such a step just a few years ago. The information Finance Democrats want about these controversial nominees is straightforward, and is the same as we’ve requested numerous times during the committee’s thorough vetting process.”
Earlier this morning, Senate Finance Committee Democrats sent a letter to Chairman Hatch asking the nominees to submit complete, accurate responses to repeated requests for information that is critical to the Committee’s bipartisan vetting process. Wyden sent another letter to the CEO of Innate Immunotherapeutics last night to provide additional information to assist the Committee’s efforts to clarify whether Congressman Price received a special deal on stock investments in the firm.
There is precedent here. Republican's boycotted a Finance Committee markup on June 30, 2011. That boycott was led by Senator Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, now Chairman of the Finance Committee.
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