02.08.17

Senate Dems, Advocates Call On Republicans to Postpone Confirmation Vote on Congressman Price, Allow Outstanding Ethical Questions to be Fully Answered Before Nomination Advances

New information about Rep. Price’s medical stock trades continues to emerge and raise serious concerns—LINK

 

Senate Dems, CAP Action, CREW, and PIRG held a press conference to urge Republicans to postpone vote on Rep. Price’s nomination

 

Coalition of good government groups have expressed deep concern over Rep. Price's ethics violations—LINK

 

Vicki Hopper: “If he didn't fight for my health as my Congressman, why should we depend on him to fight for the health of all Americans as HHS Secretary?"

 

(Washington, D.C.) –  Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), and advocates held a press conference today urging Senate Republicans to postpone Rep. Tom Price’s (R-GA) confirmation vote to be Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) until outstanding concerns regarding his medical stock trades have been thoroughly investigated by the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Senators and advocates were joined by Vicki Hopper, a breast cancer survivor and constituent of Rep. Price, who spoke on the devastating impact of Rep. Price’s support for ripping apart our health care system.

 

Senate Republicans have scheduled a final vote tomorrow on the nomination of Rep. Price, rushing to advance his confirmation despite outstanding and significant questions about his qualifications and ethical conduct.

 

At question is Rep. Price’s involvement with Innate Immunotherapeutics, an Australian biotech firm, and the investments he made in the company after discussions with Rep. Chris Collins (D-NY), an Innate Immunotherapeutics investor and board member, who also served on President Trump’s transition team—more HERE.

 

“Members of Congress should use their offices to work for the people they represent—not line their own pockets,” said Senator Patty Murray, Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee. “I hope that my Republican colleagues will reverse course on Congressman Price’s planned vote and allow adequate time for the serious ethical questions that remain to be fully investigated.”

 

“The discussion about Congressman Price’s nomination is about whether ethical responsibilities have been completely thrown out the window. Congressman Price’s record is clear: he trades in health care stocks, advocates for policies that help his portfolio, and has gotten special access to promising stock deals while serving as a member of Congress,” said Senator Ron Wyden, Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee. “Congressman Price stands to be responsible for the heath care of over 100 million Americans, including seniors and the most vulnerable among us, so the public has a right to see an honest accounting of where his financial priorities lie before the Senate votes on his nomination.”

 

“Today, sitting Senators, grassroots activists and ordinary Americans came together to call out Congressional Republicans for their gutless attack on the health of all Americans. By nominating Rep. Tom Price as HHS Secretary – a man who has wielded the power of legislation to court corporate influence and possible back door dealing in his own self-interest – President Trump has tipped his hand at who he truly cares about in this country. The Democratic Party will not simply resist. We will continue to defend the 30 million Red, Blue – and Purple – state voters that now have affordable health care. Working people have a right to quality healthcare and we will never stop fighting for that,” said Neera Tanden, President of the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

 

"If he didn't fight for my health as my Congressman, why should we depend on him to fight for the health of all Americans as HHS Secretary?" said Vicki Hopper, a breast cancer survivor who depends on the affordable Care Act and constituent of Rep. Tom Price.

 

“Congressman price's ever changing answers to the question of his stock trades require more time for examination. His conduct raises serious ethical and legal questions, including under the STOCK Act. There is no excuse for rushing his nomination through to a vote when these matters have not been resolved,” said Norman Eisen, former Ambassador and Board Chair of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).

 

“Congressman Price clearly violated the spirit of the STOCK Act. We’re asking the Senate to delay any vote on Price’s nomination until the SEC has had the opportunity to determine whether his actions also violated the letter of the law. Using your elected position to cheat the stock market isn’t a joke – it’s a federal offense. And before the Senate rushes to confirm a nominee for the president’s cabinet, the public deserves to know whether they’re guilty of insider trading,” said Chris MacKenzie, spokesman for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG).

 

Congressional Democrats and good government groups have repeatedly called on the OGE and the SEC to investigate Price’s financial investments—more HERE.

 

###