The Latest: Price, Mnuchin votes postponed after Dem boycott

The Latest: Price, Mnuchin votes postponed after Dem boycott

January 31st, 2017 by Associated Press in National Political

Attorney General-designate Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. leaves his office on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017, as the Senate Judiciary Committee prepares to advance his nomination. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Photo by The Associated Press /Times Free Press.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Latest on developments in Congress (all times local):

10:44 a.m.

Senate Finance Committee votes to confirm President Donald Trump's picks for health and Treasury secretary are being indefinitely postponed after Democrats boycotted the meeting.

Democratic senators held an abruptly called briefing for reporters outside the hearing room. They said they were demanding more information about the two nominees, GOP Georgia Rep. Tom Price to be Health secretary and financier Steve Mnuchin to head the Treasury Department.

The Democrats cited separate newspaper reports about Price's trading in a health company stock and Mnuchin's behavior involving foreclosures when he was a banker.

Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch said he planned to reschedule the votes but did not say when. He said Democrats "ought to stop posturing and acting like idiots."

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10:35 a.m.

The top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee says she'll vote against President Donald Trump's nominee for attorney general, Sen. Jeff Sessions.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California says she can't reconcile the independence required in the job "with the partisanship this nominee has exhibited." Sessions was one of Trump's earliest supporters.

The Senate Judiciary Committee is meeting Tuesday to vote on the nomination.

Feinstein also praised Sally Yates, the former acting attorney general who was fired by Trump Monday after she publicly questioned the constitutionality of his refugee and immigration ban.

"That statement took a steel spine to stand up and say no," Feinstein said. "That is what an attorney general must be willing and able to do."

Feinstein said she has "no confidence" Sessions would do that.

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10:20 a.m.

Attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions says he had no role in helping the White House draft an executive order on refugees and immigration.

In responses to Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy about his involvement in writing executive orders, Sessions wrote: "None. Neither I, nor any of my current staff, had such a role."

Leahy asked the question Jan. 25 in reference to orders involving immigration. Sessions returned the written answers Monday.

The Judiciary panel is meeting to vote on Sessions' nomination. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley defended the Alabama senator, who has been one of President Donald Trump's strongest supporters.

"It's not clear to me why it would be a problem even if he had been involved," Grassley said.

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10 a.m.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee has backed Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke for Interior secretary and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry for Energy secretary.

President Donald Trump's nominees met little resistance in the panel Tuesday morning. The committee voted 16-6 for Zinke and 16-7 for Perry.

The nominations now go to the full Senate.