Dems call for delaying Price hearing over ethics concerns
Senate Democrats are pushing for a delay to Rep. Tom Price’s (R-Ga.) confirmation hearing to be Health and Human Services secretary amid renewed ethics concerns.
Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) sent a letter to Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) asking him to delay Wednesday’s confirmation hearing amid reports that Price invested in companies before introducing or supporting legislation that would help those companies.
“Allowing Congressman Price’s nomination to move to a hearing with questions about his ethical qualifications left unanswered would send an early, clear, and deeply troubling signal that the Senate’s critical oversight functions will be given a back seat to the demands of the Trump Administration,” the senators wrote.
They added that Alexander, the chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, should “postpone Congressman Price’s hearing until these ethics issues are fully investigated and addressed.”
CNN reported on Monday that Price invested in a medical device company days before he introduced legislation benefiting the company.
The Trump team dismissed the report, noting the investment was made by a broker and Price was not aware of it until after he had introduced the legislation.
Separately, Time reported on Tuesday that Price invested in six pharmaceutical companies before supporting legislation that would benefit them.
The letter comes as Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on Tuesday that Price may have broke the law and said there’s a “good chance” the ethics questions could sink his nomination to lead the Department of Health and Human Services.
Schumer also said on Monday that Office of Congressional Ethics should investigate if Price broke the law before his nomination is allowed to move forward.