It looked like this: a half-empty Senate Finance Committee hearing room, with all Republicans and no Democrats. That's when Finance Committee Republicans suspended the committee rules and approved Price's nomination for Health and Human Services secretary shortly after 9:30 a.m. yesterday, at a meeting that was called only about 20 minutes in advance. Caitlin Owens rushed over, and you can read her story here.
That's what the Republicans decided they had to do, since the Democrats were still boycotting to try to block the vote. Barring some major surprise — and as we learned this week, you never know for sure — that vote probably handed the HHS secretary job to Price. When he gets to the Senate floor, he'll only need 51 votes to be confirmed, thanks to a rules change that Senate Democrats engineered when they were in power. (Read this Atlantic piece about how that change is now a huge help to President Trump.)
Why this will be remembered: Usually, the bickering over a nominee is forgotten pretty quickly once they're in the job. But Price generated an awful lot of stories questioning the ethics of his stock trades, and the Democrats are pretty sure he misled them in his testimony. Republicans want to get him into the job quickly so HHS doesn't spend a long time without a leader, but if there's even a hint of scandal in Price's HHS tenure, all of this will come back to haunt him.