The rule they suspended had required at least one Democrat to be present for votes. It was the latest escalation in partisan tensions in the new Congress.
The Senate Finance Committee approved Rep. Tom Price, R-Georgia, to become Health and Human Services secretary and financier Steve Mnuchin to be Treasury secretary by a pair of 14-0 votes.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, the panel’s chairman, said the Senate Parliamentarian said such a change is consistent with committee and Senate rules.
“We took some unprecedented actions today due to the unprecedented obstruction on the part of our colleagues. As I noted earlier, the Senate Finance Committee has traditionally been able to function in even the most divisive political environments. Personally, as longtime member of this committee, I have been proud of that distinction,” Hatch said. “And, in my time as both Ranking Member and Chairman of this committee, I have bent over backwards to preserve its unique status as one of the few places where Republicans and Democrats not only work together, but achieve results.Read more at CBS News