Just Great: Senate Committees Advance Nominees Without a Single Democrat Present

Republicans in the Senate Finance Committee advanced the nominations for Treasury and Health and Human Services this morning. The Senate Judiciary Committee also approved Jeff Sessions for Attorney General. Nominations will be sent to the full Senate...

by Amanda Arnold
Feb 1 2017, 5:10pm

Below is what happened on Trump's eighth day in office. You can find out what damage was done every other day so far on the Saddest Calendar on the Internet.

Making it increasingly apparent that we could all benefit from a close relationship with a legal expert to describe what the hell is going on at all times, Republicans in the Senate Finance Committee advanced the nominations of Steven Mnuchin for Treasury and Tom Price for Health and Human Services without a single Democrat present this morning. There exists (existed?) a rule that requires at least one member from the minority party must be present during votes, but Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) moved to suspend it, which committee chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) approved.

This comes a day after the committee Democrats boycotted votes on Mnuchin and Price because they wanted to further question the nominees before casting their votes.

"We took some unprecedented actions today due to the unprecedented obstruction on the part of our colleagues," Hatch said, apparently misunderstanding the word "unprecedented." Senate Republicans blocked Merrick Garland, Obama's nominee to the Supreme Court, for 11 months. They boycotted the approval of Gina McCarthy, Barack Obama's EPA nominee, in 2013. Some had vowed to block any candidate that the Clinton administration would've nominated to be Supreme Court Justice. But hey—who's keeping tabs?

Meanwhile, Senator Sherrod Brown (R-OH) tweeted about what he and the other absent Democratic Senators were doing:

The Senate Judiciary Committee also confirmed Jeff Sessions, the man once considered too racist to be a judge, to be Attorney General this morning. His nomination now goes to the floor.

Up next in the onslaught of increasingly terrifying confirmations is the full Senate vote today on the CEO of ExxonMobil to become Secretary of State. Unsurprisingly, it's expected that Rex Tillerson, who has no military or government experience, will be approved.

That's Bleak. Who's Fighting Against It?

According to Bloomberg, "Democrats could try to challenge the committee's actions when Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tries to bring them up for a floor vote." However, it's possible that "they may not be able to block it."

Democrats can also vote against the confirmation of Sessions in the Senate, but they currently lack the majority.

Not Depressed Yet? Read the Full Saddest Calendar on the Internet