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Democrats force Cabinet delays; Labor choice hearing postponed

WASHINGTON — Senate Finance Committee votes to confirm President Donald Trump’s picks for health and Treasury secretary are being indefinitely postponed after Democrats boycotted the meeting.

Democratic senators held an abruptly called briefing for reporters outside the hearing room. They said they were demanding more information about the two nominees, GOP Georgia Rep. Tom Price to be Health secretary and financier Steve Mnuchin to head the Treasury Department.

The Democrats cited separate newspaper reports about Price’s trading in a health company stock and Mnuchin’s behavior involving foreclosures when he was a banker.

Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch said he planned to reschedule the votes but did not say when. He said Democrats “ought to stop posturing and acting like idiots.”

Meanwhile, the confirmation hearing for the president’s choice to head the Labor Department has again been postponed.

A spokeswoman for the Senate panel that had been set to hold Andrew Puzder’s hearing Feb. 7 said the fast food CEO’s financial and other statements have not been filed to the panel. No new date for the session has been set.

It’s at least the third postponement for the head of CKE Restaurants, Inc. The company owns Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr.

Union leaders and Democrats say Puzder is ill-suited to head the Cabinet agency that enforces protections for workers. Puzder is against much of their agenda, including a big hike in the minimum wage.

Trump nominated Puzder on Dec. 9.

The Associated Press and the News Desk wrote this report.

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