REGULATION/LEGISLATION

Senate Finance Committee approves Steven Mnuchin for Treasury secretary

Committee suspends rule to allow vote without quorum following Democrats' boycott

Steven Mnuchin
Steven Mnuchin

Republican members of the Senate Finance Committee on Wednesday overcame a boycott by their Democrat counterparts to approve the nomination of Steven Mnuchin to serve as U.S. Treasury secretary.

Committee Democrats, who boycotted a scheduled vote Tuesday in order to avoid having a quorum, did not vote.

Wednesday’s 14-0 partisan vote came after the committee agreed to suspend a rule that requires a quorum for nomination votes. “We took some unprecedented actions today due to the unprecedented obstruction on the part of our colleagues,” committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said in a statement after the vote. A full Senate vote on the nomination has not been scheduled.

Committee member Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., said in a statement he did not vote for Mr. Mnuchin because “I believe that managing the world’s largest economy is too important a responsibility to hand over to someone who is so lacking in both the depth of policy knowledge and economic decision-making experience that we should expect for our highest-ranking official at the Treasury Department.”