Feb. 1 (UPI) -- Republican Senate committees on Wednesday approved three of President Donald Trump's Cabinet nominees -- two of whom were confirmed despite a boycott by Democrats.
Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee approved the nomination of Steven Mnuchin to become Secretary of the Treasury and Georgia Rep. Tom Price to become secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. The committee's actions will send the process to the Senate, which will vote in full on whether to confirm the nominees.
After Democrats boycotted the Senate Finance Committee meeting for a second day, Republicans on Wednesday changed a rule requiring at least one Democrat be present for the panel to hold a valid vote to send the nomination process to the Senate floor.
Chairman Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, said the decision was carried out under "extraordinary circumstances" and was approved by the Senate parliamentarian.
The 14 Republicans on the committee voted to advance the nominations of Mnuchin and Price to the full Senate.
"They on their own accord refused to participate in the exercise," Hatch said of the absentee Democrats on the committee. "They have nobody to blame but themselves."