Republicans are already acting drunk on their own power as tempers got heated after Republican Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) told Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) to take a Valium during the confirmation hearing for Trump Treasury nominee Steven Mnuchin.
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 19, 2017
Roberts said, “Sen. Wyden, I’ve got a Valium pill here that you might want to take for a second round.”
Wyden told Roberts that a lot of people are waiting, and to be brief.
Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) said, “I just can’t quite believe that you would say that to a distinguished Senator from Oregon.”
Roberts replied, “I said that to the President Of The United States at one time.”
Brown shot back, “Perhaps you did, but I just hope that doesn’t set the tone for 2017. This is just outrageous.”
Committee chairman Sen. Orrin Hatch tried to regain control, and Roberts did a classic non-apology apology.
Wyden repeated that there are many colleagues waiting to ask questions, and Roberts angrily responded, “Fine, Ron. I’m done.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren noted why Democrats are so outraged:
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) January 19, 2017
Trump’s Treasury Secretary nominee is part of the crowd that caused the great recession. Instead of going to jail, people like Steve Mnuchin are going to be running the US economy. More Senators should be as angry as Sen. Wyden, and for Pat Roberts to act like it is no big deal to be turning the keys to the US economy over the same Wall Street forces that nearly caused a second Great Depression was the height of arrogance.
This isn’t going to be the last contentious hearing during the Trump years. Democrats are fighting for the American people, Sen. Roberts’ dismissal of the legitimate concerns of a majority of Americans is a symptom of a political party that is already choking on its own arrogance.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association