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Steve Mnuchin gets Senate panel confirmation after rule change

Committee approved nomination by a 14-0 tally, circumventing Democrats' boycott
February 01, 2017 05:00PM

Steve Mnuchin (Getty)

Senate Republicans are determined to see the confirmation of Steve Mnuchin, Donald Trump’s pick for treasury secretary.

Mnuchin, the former Wall Street executive who headed Pasadena’s OneWest Bank, was confirmed by the Senate Finance Committee Wednesday thanks to a last minute rule change implemented by Republicans in the senate, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Committee rules require at least one member of each party be present when there is a vote, but Republicans changed the rules Wednesday to allow for confirmation votes of both Mnuchin and health secretary-pick Tom Price. The rule change circumvented a boycott by senate Democrats, who said the two men responded with lies to senators’ questions.

Due to the boycott, not a single Democrat on the committee showed up for the vote.

The committee approved Mnuchin’s nomination by a 14-0 tally. The next step is a vote by the full Republican-controlled Senate.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, a Republican from Utah, said his party took “unprecedented measures due to the unprecedented obstruction on the part of (Democrats).”

Democrats have accused Mnuchin of using predatory tactics to foreclose on the homes of thousands of Americans during his tenure at OneWest from 2009 to 2015, and helping wealthy clients of his hedge fund offshore their assets.

The former Hollywood movie producer served as Trump’s campaign finance chairman.

Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, a Democrat, said the rule change was “deeply troubling…in the face of strong evidence of two nominees’ serious ethical problems.” [LAT]Subrina Hudson