Travel ban protest delays Senate panel vote on Trump Treasury pick
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senate Democrats delayed the Senate Finance Committee's vote on U.S. Treasury secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin on Monday to make sure they could protest against President Donald Trump's order banning travel from seven Muslim-majority nations.
The panel can vote on Mnuchin's nomination on Tuesday at 10 a.m. EST (1500 GMT), Finance Committee Republican spokeswoman Julia Lawless said, calling Democrats' objections towards scheduled Monday evening vote "irregular."
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer organized a candlelight protest over the steps with the Capitol to happen on Monday evening.
"This delay will allow members to protest the president’s unconstitutional ban on Muslims entering the usa while voting on Mr. Mnuchin’s nomination little more than 12 hours later," said Rachel McCleery, a spokesperson for Senate Finance Committee Democrats.
The move also could buy added time for some people senators to reconsider their votes on Mnuchin, a previous Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) executive who later ran Southern California-based OneWest Bank.
Senator Ron Wyden, the panel's ranking Democrat, has sharply criticized Mnuchin's handling of thousands of foreclosures by OneWest after he led several investors to buy failed lender IndyMac along at the height in the recent financial crisis.
Senator Mark Warner, another Democrat for the panel, on Monday announced he previously vote against Mnuchin's nomination.
"All over the confirmation process, Mr. Mnuchin has failed to adequately demonstrate that he’ll be a forceful advocate for innovative policies which will make the U.S. economy are better for some Americans," Warner said inside a statement, adding that he is not believing that Mnuchin would robustly enforce post-crisis financial services restrictions.
Republicans control a two-vote majority to the committee, so Democrats might need to persuade some Republicans to oppose Mnuchin to stop the nomination.
Nevada Republican Dean Heller, who faces a re-election campaign in 2018, subjected Mnuchin to tough questioning on OneWest's foreclosures in Nevada throughout his confirmation hearing. A Heller spokesman didn’t immediately respond to your questions for the senator's voting plans.