Hardball

Lest anyone have illusions that the GOP Senate will serve as a check on Trump, the Finance Committees upended its rules to rush forward two ethically challenged nominees.

Senate Republicans pushed through a pair of President Trump’s Cabinet nominees Wednesday, upending standard committee rules to circumvent a Democratic boycott.

The Senate Finance Committee advanced a pair of Trump’s nominees with only Republican members present — Steven Mnuchin to head the Treasury Department, and Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) as secretary of Health and Human Services.

By unanimous consent, the Republicans gathered in the hearing room 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.

via GOP changes rules to push through nominees after Dem boycott | TheHill.

Price has a lot of questions to answer about what seems like insider trading. Mnuchin seems to have flat-out lied about his bank’s robo-signing of foreclosures.

Yet, this is the altar on which the GOP Senators chose to sacrifice the long-standing norm that parties don’t take unilateral actions in the utter absence of the other party. Don’t look to them to be a check or balance short of Trump groping live on national TV, or a signed and notarized depotition from Putin detailing bribes or blackmail.

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