The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senate Democrats on Tuesday boycotted a planned committee vote on two of President Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees, Steve Mnuchin to be Treasury secretary and Tom Price to head the Health and Human Services department, delaying the vote.

At least one Democrat must be present for the committee votes to take place. Democrats said they were postponing the vote because they wanted more information on Price’s stock trades in an Australian medical company and reports that Mnuchin’s former bank, OneWest, used automated “robo-signings” of foreclosure documents, which apparently contradicted statements the nominees had made to senators.

Republican Orrin Hatch, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, called the Democratic boycott “shocking” and “offensive.”

“They’re going to vote no. They’ve made that very clear,” he said to other Republicans on the committee. “I think they ought to stop posturing and acting like idiots. What’s the matter with the other party? Are they that bitter about Donald Trump?”

Senator Ron Wyden, the top Democrat on the committee, told reporters Democrats were not ready to consider either nominee.

“We’ve made clear that we need additional information to make these judgments,” he said.

The Democrats said they wanted more information about Price and Mnuchin after media reports appeared to contradict statements that they had made in confirmation hearings and subsequent written statements.

In the Mnuchin’s case, the Columbus Dispatch cited documents showing that OneWest used automated “robo-signings” – a method for approving mortgage documents that was criticized for not fully considering them — after the former Goldman Sachs executive and OneWest chairman flatly denied those practices to senators.

Wyden said Democrats also wanted more information about a Wall Street Journal article that said Price received a privileged offer to buy a biomedical stock at a discount, contrary to his congressional testimony this month.

Price had testified the discounted shares he bought in Innate Immunotherapeutics Ltd were available to all other investors at the time but the Journal said that in fact he was one of fewer than 20 U.S. investors who were invited last year to buy the discounted shares.

“The company is directly contradicting Congressman Price, indicating he didn’t tell the truth. And he misled the Congress and he misled the American people,” Wyden said.

Barney Keller, a spokesman for Mnuchin’s transition, dismissed the Ohio newspaper’s report as “bogus,” saying courts had already rejected allegations that a OneWest official’s signings of documents cited in the report were “robo-signings.”

(Reporting by Susan Cornwell and David Lawder; Editing by Bill Trott)

IMAGE: Steven Mnuchin, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s reported choice for U.S. Treasury Secretary, speaks to members of the news media upon his arrival at Trump Tower in New York, U.S. November 30, 2016.   REUTERS/Mike Segar

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes at Capitol on January 6, 2021

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet

Members of the Oath Keepers — along with QAnon and the Proud Boys — were among the far-right extremists who, according to the FBI, were involved in the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol Building. The role that the Oath Keepers played in the Capitol insurrection is the focus of a report by PolitiFact's Samantha Putterman, who examines their activities before and during the attack.

Keep reading... Show less

Steve Bannon

When it comes to events surrounding the January 6 insurrection, there are some whose involvement remains unclear. Did Rep. Lauren Boebert lead future insurgents on a tour of the Capitol in order to help them identify the shortest route to the people they wanted to hang? Not certain. There are others who will pretend that their calls to storming the Capitol and spilling a swimming pool of patriotic blood were purely metaphorical. Right, Rep. Mo Brooks?

And then there's Steve Bannon.

Keep reading... Show less
x
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}