U.S. Senate panel suspends rules, backs Price, Mnuchin for Cabinet February 2, 2017 Reuters, Susan Cornwell (February 1, 2017) Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee suspended the rules and confirmed both Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) and banker Steve Mnuchin to head the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Treasury, respectively. Democrats boycotted the committee’s meetings in an effort to stop action on the nominees. Republicans suspended the rule requiring at least one Democrat to be present for business to move forward. "We took some unprecedented action today due to some unprecedented obstruction on the part of our colleagues," said the panel's chair, Republican Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, who was furious over the Democrats' no-show. He said he had obtained approval from the Senate parliamentarian for the move suspending the rule. Democrats found the move to be disconcerting. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), the committee’s ranking member, noted that he was “deeply troubled” by Hatch’s move. The minority party had been boycotting the committee hearings until they received more information on Price’s stock trades and reports on Mnuchin’s dealings with “robo-signings” while he led OneWest Bank.