In another late-night-early-morning session, the Senate voted 52-to-48 to confirm Rep. Thomas Price (R.-Ga.) to lead the Department of Health and Human Services.
Because Democrats insisted on using up all available time for debate, the Republicans insisted on keeping the Senate in constant session until 1:46 a.m. Friday morning–in keeping with the old adage that the Senate completes its business through either consensus or exhaustion.
When the vote actually began at or around 1:45 a.m., there were virtually no senators on the floor as the clerk ran through the first 23 names, until she read off: “Mr. Cotton.”
Cotton replied with a loud: “Aye!” Senators laughed as they came onto the floor and it clearly was one of the only laughs shared on each side of the aisle since the Senate took up President Donald Trump’s appointees.
Utah Republican Sen. Michael Lee made majority for Price with the 51th vote. The vote reflected the Republicans 52-to-48 majority in the chamber, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D.-Mo.) missed the vote because she was home with her husband, who had a heart procedure.
The other Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch was one of several Republicans joining the floor debate Thursday in favor of Price.