Watch Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Walters totally obliterate Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who was having a sad day about Republicans no longer being the majority in the House. Waters, who is the House Financial Services Committee Chairperson, tells Mnuchin that this is a different Congress.
A clip of the interaction is embedded in the center of this post, but let’s go over some highlights first.
To be clear, this disagreement seems to be about something pretty tame on the surface. Basically, how long would Mnuchin continue to testify at a hearing. But his attitude and demeanor suggest he is not in the mood to be friendly, and Waters isn’t having it.
At one point, Waters says, “This is a new way, and it’s a new day, and it’s a new Chair and I have the gavel at this point.”
Mnuchin goes on to whine. He tells Waters that he was never treated this way when the Republicans were in charge. Aw, poor baby. Checks and balances are some of those new features that Mnuchin can’t seem to adjust to.
After Waters tells Mnuchin that he was free to leave, several times, she accepts his offer to stay a little while longer. This interaction is a thing of beauty.
It goes down as follows:
Waters: “If you wish to leave, you may.”
Mnuchin: “If you’d wish to keep me here, so that I don’t have my important meeting and continue to grill me—then we can do that. I will cancel my meeting and I will not be back here. I will be very clear. If that’s the way you like to have this relationship.”
Waters: “Thank you. The gentlemen—the Secretary, has agreed to stay. To hear all the rest of the members. Please cancel your meeting and respect our time.”
Waters then tells Mnuchin who’s the boss when he’s in front of her committee. It goes as follows:
Waters: “You are free to leave anytime you want. You may go, anytime you want."
Mnuchin: “Please dismiss everybody. I believe you're supposed to take the gravel [sic] and bang it.”
Waters: "Please do not instruct me as to how I am to conduct this committee.”
And by the end of this roughly four-minute exchange, Maxine Waters had Mnuchin so flustered that he referred to the committee Chair’s gavel, as a “gravel.”
More importantly, this exchange highlights how capable, smart, and awesome Maxine Waters is and how important it is that Democrats hold the committees.
Mnuchin and his cronies did anything they wanted when Republicans were in charge of the House and in classic fashion, Waters tells Mnuchin those days are over.