Confirmation hearings are not supposed to be entertaining to absolutely anybody – it’s somewhere in the Constitution, I think – but two members of the Senate Finance Committee somehow managed to make things interesting during Steven Mnuchin’s hearing for treasury secretary.
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) went off on a blistering tirade against Mnuchin, one of President-elect Donald Trump’s more controversial Cabinet picks, due to his perceived role in creating the 2008 financial crisis via his work with the controversial OneWest Bank.
When Wyden concluded, Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) decided to interject a bit of humor into the situation, but things only ended up getting heated.
“Sen. Wyden, I’ve got a Valium here that you might want to take before the second round,” Roberts quipped while reaching into his suit-jacket pocket. “Just a suggestion, sir.” While certain members in the audience began to snicker, Wyden simply demanded that Roberts hurry up and finish his comment.
Suddenly, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) decided to jump in and attack Roberts out of nowhere. “I hope that that comment about Valium doesn’t set the tone for 2017 and this committee,” he said. “I just – I like Sen. Roberts, but I just can’t quite believe that he would say that to a distinguished senator from Oregon.”
Roberts simply dismissed the uproar with a wave of his hand. “I’m sorry if I have, um, you know, incurred your wrath, sir, so we’ll be alright,” he said, noting that “just a little pinprick of humor might help this committee from time to time.”