Update : February 1, 2017
On Wednesday, February 1, 2017, Senate Republicans found a loophole to push through Trump’s two Cabinet nominees, by upending standard committee rules to circumvent a Democratic boycott.
As Bloomberg reports, the Senate Finance Committee – with only Republican members present – advanced Steven Mnuchin to head the Treasury Department, and Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) as secretary of Health and Human Services. They did so when the Republicans gathered in the hearing room and unanimously agreed to change the committee’s standing rules, which normally require at least one member of each party to be in attendance for committee work to proceed.
“It’s just another way of roughing up the president’s nominees,” said committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). “They have been treated fairly. We have not been treated fairly.”
From: Zerohedge January 31, 2016
‘Full out war between Democrats and the White House broke out today when Senate Democrats on Tuesday refused to attend a committee vote on two President Trump’s more controversial nominees, effectively delaying their consideration. Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee boycotted votes to advance Tom Price, Trump’s pick to head the Department of Health and Human Services, and Steven Mnuchin, his selection to head the Treasury Department.
Since at least one democrat must be on present for the vote to be held, the move will effectively delay and potentially prevent the confirmation votes on Mnuchin and Price. The duo is among some of the more contentious selections to join Trump’s Cabinet.
Democrats walked out of the Senate Finance Committee hearing room, arguing that Mnuchin and Price misled senators in their testimony before the panel, and saying they could not allow a vote to proceed without more information. Minutes before the scheduled vote on the pair, democrats said they refused to enter the hearing room until they get answers to their questions about Price’s stock purchase in an Australian biotechnology company.’
If you think this is a new technique, think again.
“ According to National Review http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/260010/wisconsin-democrats-get-bus-flee-state-daniel-foster February 17, 2011 Wisconsin Democrats fled the state in a bus, just to avoid voting on a budget bill that would have seen the slashing of public worker pensions and curbing their unions.
The vote had to be postponed because the 33-member Senate must have had 20 members present to meet the quorum requirements. As they were only 19 Republicans, they needed at least one Democrat present.
Instead of facing the music, what did they do? They boarded a bus and went to a Best Western Resort in Rockford, Illinois. But not everything was ha-ha funny at the resort; somehow they found the time to contact CNN with a list of demands for Republican Gov. Scott Walker.
The Senate majority leader sent the law enforcement after the runaway Democrats while Gov. Walker held a press conference urging the senators to come back “Show up, debate the bill, offer amendments… but you don’t have a debate if you’re hangin’ out in Rockford” They did not come back and the Wisconsin Senate was adjourned for the day.”