US Senate postpones votes on Treasury, Health Secretary nominees

Washington, Feb 1 (IANS) US Senate Finance Committee postponed votes on the nominations of Steve Mnuchin as the Treasury Secretary and Tom Price to head the Health and Human Services department after a boycott by Democrats.

Democrats on the committee said on Tuesday they wouldn’t attend votes on Mnuchin, because of concerns that the Treasury Secretary pick gave false testimony on foreclosure practices by OneWest Bank, of which Mnuchin was former chairman, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Democrats also demanded more information on Price’s stock trades in an Australian medical company before they attend the vote on the health department head.

“I cannot support nominees who treat disclosures like shell games and ethics laws like mere suggestions,” said Ron Wyden, a Democratic ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee.

Local media reported that a spokesman for Mnuchin disputed the allegations of false testimony.

The delay on the approval of Price may create some obstacles for the Republicans’ efforts to push forward a plan to replace Obamacare, for which Price has long been a critic.