The Senate Finance Committee had been scheduled to vote Tuesday on the nominations of Steven Mnuchin as treasury secretary and Tom Price as secretary of health and human services. However, none of the committee Democrats showed up. Without a quorum, the committee can not move the nominees on to the full Senate.
The Democrats took the dramatic stand after word came that, counter to their testimony, Mnuchin’s bank might have engaged in “robo-signing”—illegally fast-tracking foreclosures—and Price might have bought a medical company’s stock at an insider price. Mnuchin’s opposition to the laws and regulations imposed on Wall Street to stop them from breaking the world again, and Price’s plans for Americans to become poor when they get sick had proved relatively uncontroversial.
“My father did not fight and bleed on the battlefields of Verdun for Tom Price to just walk into Health and Human Services and strip away our social safety net—the real guardian of our national security—unless he damn well better have paid 90 cents per share of Innate Immunotherapeutics stock instead of 18 cents per share,” said one hypothetical senator, whose father may nor may not have fought and bled on the battlefields of Verdun.
The move came in response to massive grass-roots groundswell of protest, in which demonstrators have insisted that Trump’s nominees must be honest about what they paid for stocks and which procedures they used to kick Americans into the street before Democrats allow them to begin eviscerating the country.
Democrats also on Tuesday permitted Betsy DeVos, the education secretary nominee, to advance to the full Senate for her confirmation vote, despite suggestions some of her answers to a Senate questionnaire might have been plagiarized. If verified, the plagiarism charges could prove far more devastating to her chances than her ideological inclination to totally fucking dismantle the greatest public-education system the world has ever known and give it to Jesus.