In this Jan. 19, 2017 file photo, Treasury Secretary-designate Steven Mnuchin testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
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In the latest intensification of partisan hostilities, Republicans rammed President Donald Trump's picks to be Treasury and health secretaries through a Senate committee on Wednesday without any Democrats present after unilaterally suspending panel rules that would have otherwise prevented the vote.Before approving the two nominees, the committee's Republicans voted 14-0 to temporarily suspend a rule requiring at least one Democrat to be present for any votes.Several other votes were planned Wednesday to get Trump nominees approved by committees, clearing them for confirmation in the full Senate.Several Democrats said they had no confidence Sessions would be able to stand up to Trump.The vote on Tillerson comes as tension builds among congressional Republicans and Democrats over Trump's executive order on immigrants and refugees.With liberal groups pressing them to fight Trump, Democrats used delaying tactics on Trump nominees on Tuesday.Another panel postponed a vote on Trump's pick to head the White House Budget Office, tea party Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., as Democrats asked for more time to read the nominee's FBI file.
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