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Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton on Tuesday suggested ordering the sergeant at arms to force Democrats to vote for President Trump’s nominees at the committee level, ratcheting up the rhetoric after Democrats delayed the votes with a boycott Tuesday morning.

“I don’t know how long they plan to do this,” the Republican said from the Senate floor. “I don’t know if they intend to abscond out of the District, if we’re going to have to vote to have the sergeant at arms track them down, haul them to work to do their business.”

Gesturing toward the sergeant at arms, Cotton remarked that “he has a distinguished record in military and law enforcement. He could probably do that effectively.”

Cotton is not a member of the Senate Finance Committee, which tried Tuesday morning to hold votes on the nominations of Steven Mnuchin to be treasury secretary and Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, to be secretary of health and human services. Democrats stopped the vote by refusing to show up and denying a quorum. At least one Democrat has to be present for a quorum.

Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, of Utah, has said that he hopes to reschedule a vote quickly but hasn’t suggested any extraordinary measures to get Democrats to show up.

Cotton weighed in not just on the committee’s affairs, but more generally on Democrats’ increasingly aggressive opposition to the Trump administration, including Democratic senators’ protestations of Trump’s decision Monday night to fire the acting attorney general after she refused to defend Trump’s immigration and refugee ban from seven Muslim-majority countries.

Democrats deploy delay tactics to stall Trump's Cabinet picks

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Democratic senators gave lengthy speeches causing Grassley to delay the vote until Wednesday.

01/31/17 1:54 PM



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