HHS Nominee Vote Delayed By Senate Dem Boycott
Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden led other panel Democrats in boycotting a planned Jan. 31 vote on the confirmation of Rep. Tom Price as HHS Secretary. Wyden said the nominee "misled the public" and held back information on discounted shares of an Australian biomedical firm he bought. Committee Chair Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, was surprised by the setback to President Trump's nominee, and swore to bring Senate Democrats back to the committee to "do their job.”
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Senators voted 52 to 47 to confirm Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., as Health and Human Services secretary, where he will be a key leader implementing reversals to the Affordable Care Act. Meanwhile, Trump’s pick to lead the Medicare agency, Seema Verma, faces a confirmation hearing in the Senate Feb. 16.
An all-Republican Senate Finance panel changed the committee’s rules Feb. 1 and voted 14-0 to advance HHS Secretary nominee Tom Price’s, R-Ga., confirmation to the full Senate, after the panel’s Democrats, led by ranking member Ron Wyden of Oregon, boycotted Price’s confirmation markup for a second day due to lingering questions about Price’s investments in Innate Immunotherapeutics stocks, Wyden said.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, urged US Department of Health and Human Services secretary nominee Tom Price to preserve the "Open Payments" database that was established by Grassley's Physician Payment Sunshine Act, even if the Affordable Care Act, by which the Sunshine law was enacted, is repealed.