Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) cracks a joke about Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), Ranking Member on the Senate Committee on Finance, needing a Valium for the confirmation hearing of Steven Mnuchin, President-Elect's nominee for Secretary of Treasury. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) took offense at the "tone" Sen. Roberts set.
From Thursday's Senate hearing:
SEN. PAT ROBERTS (R-KS): Sen. Wyden, I've got a Valium pill here that you might want to take before the second round [of questioning]. Just a suggestion.
SEN. RON WYDEN (D-OR), SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE RANKING MEMBER: Just another suggestion: We've got a lot of colleagues waiting; if you can brief, that would be helpful.
ROBERTS: I'm going to be very brief.
Mr. Mnuchin from the distinguished Ranking Member's remarks, I understand you were in charge of the Great Recession --
SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D-OH): Mr. Chairman, Mr. Chairman I hope that that comment about Valium doesn't set the tone for 2017 in this committee. I just -- I like Senator Roberts, but I just can't believe he would say that to the distinguished Senator from Oregon.
ROBERTS: I said that to the president of the United States at one point.
BROWN: Perhaps you did. But I would hope that that doesn't set the tone for the session today.
ROBERTS: It was --
ROBERTS: I have the time.
BROWN: This is just outrageous.
ROBERTS: I don't know about outrageous, but I think just a little pinprick of humor might have this committee this from time to time.
Mnuchin delivers his opening statement before the Senate Finance Committee at the confirmation hearing for him to become Secretary of the Treasury: