Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee voted along party lines to confirm Representative Tom Price (R–Georgia) to head the Department of Health and Human Services, sending the nomination to the Senate for a vote, according to a Reuters report.
Democrats stayed away from the meeting, which under the committee’s rules normally would have prevented the votes from taking place. But Republicans first voted to suspend the rule that had required at least one Democrat to be present for business to be conducted. Republican members of the committee, who were all present, then approved Price’s nomination 14 to 0.
The panel’s chairman, Senator Orrin Hatch (R–Utah), said he had obtained approval from the Senate parliamentarian for the move suspending the rule.
Price is considered likely to be confirmed by the Republican-majority Senate.
Source: Reuters; February 1, 2017.