It’s getting testy already between Republicans and Democrats in the Senate!
This moment came during the Senate Finance Committee hearing for Trump’s Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.
Senator Pat Roberts suggested that Senator Ron Wyden should relax. And he used what might be an impolitic phrase.
The senators in the room were stunned at first. Then the Democrat senators responded.
Watch (via CSPAN):
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 19, 2017
Roberts, who was permitted to ask a handful of questions before jumping to another hearing, jabbed at Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) after he gave a lengthy critique of Mnuchin’s experience.
“Sen. Wyden, I’ve got a Valium pill here that you might want to take for a second round,” he joked. The crack did not go over well with Democrats. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) pounced on the remarks, calling it an inauspicious start to the committee’s work for the year. And Wyden accused Roberts of wasting precious time. “I just can’t quite believe that the senator would say that,” said Brown. “I just hope that doesn’t set the tone for 2017.”
Members of both parties quickly began talking over each other, with Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) struggling to regain control.
Roberts said the comment amounted to a “little pinprick of humor,” and apologized “if I have, you know, uh, encouraged your wrath, sir.”
The new legislative year is off to some start!