Trump health pick vows to sell off stocks to avoid conflicts
Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Health and Human Services will sell off his healthcare investments after facing scrutiny over his stock trades.
Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), in a letter to the HHS ethics office, vowed to divest his interests in 43 companies within 90 days if confirmed by the Senate.
Price has investments in healthcare companies like insurer Aetna and pharmaceutical corporation Pfizer, but he also said he would divest from other companies like Verizon and Amazon.
“With regard to each of these entities, I will not participate personally and substantially in any particular matter that to my knowledge has a direct and predictable effect on the financial interests of the entity until I have divested it, unless I first obtain a written waiver,” Price wrote.
Price also said he would resign as a delegate for the American Medical Association if confirmed.
Top Senate Democrats last week called on the House ethics office to investigate Price’s investments.
The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Price traded more than $300,000 worth of shares in healthcare companies while pushing legislation that might affect those stocks’ values.
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will hold a confirmation hearing for Price Wednesday.
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the ranking member of the committee, indicated she and other Democrats would still question Price on his investments.
“Committing to future ethical behavior if confirmed is a good step, but there are still serious questions about medical stock trades Congressman Price engaged in while working on health legislation in the past — and those questions need to be answered,” Murray said in a statement.
The committee won’t vote on his confirmation, however. The Senate Finance Committee will vote on Price’s confirmation, but it has not scheduled a hearing yet.
The Hill has removed its comment section, as there are many other forums for readers to participate in the conversation. We invite you to join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.