Democrats Boycott Committee Vote to Confirm Pro-Life Rep. Tom Price as HHS Secretary

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 31, 2017   |   12:05PM   |   Washington, DC

Apparently unable to do their jobs as members of a prominent senate committee tasked with the job of evaluating a cabinet-level official, Democrats on the Senate finance committee are boycotting a vote to confirm pro-life Congressman Tom Price as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Democrats boycott of the scheduled committee vote today and their actions resulted in an outcry from Republicans demanding that they do their jobs.

The Washington Examiner has more:

“I’m very disappointed in this type of crap,” committee Chairman Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, said to the half-empty hearing room. “I mean, my gosh, there’s no excuse for it.”

The committee was supposed to vote on the nominations of Steven Mnuchin for treasury secretary and Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., for secretary of health and human services. But without a quorum, the panel could not hold its vote.

An aide to Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, the ranking Democrat on the panel, said that Democrats are postponing the vote until “all questions are answered.” Several Democrats had objected that Mnuchin had not responded to their written questions, or answered questions with inaccurate answers.

Hatch said he hoped the committee could meet again later in the day to vote. Democrats know, he said, that the nominations will advance, and are only prolonging the delay.

“I’m hopeful that when we schedule this again that they’ll be here,” he said, saying that the “honest” approach would be for them to simply vote “no” on the nominations.

Price is one of President Donald Trump’s marquee pro-life nominees to head a cabinet department that will have significant overview concerning pro-life policies. Leading up to tomorrow’s vote, pro-life organizations such as the Family Research Council are urging senators to vote Yes on Price’s nomination.

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FRC president Tony Perkins sent the following email to FRC supporters:

Representative Tom Price (R-Ga.) is an orthopaedic surgeon who entered politics with a desire to serve. Tomorrow, the Senate Finance Committee will vote on the nomination of Dr. Price for Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and a full Senate vote will follow. We urge you to call your senators in support of his confirmation.

President Trump nominated Dr. Price knowing his desire to advance positive policy solutions with principled leadership. Dr. Price is uniquely qualified for the position of Secretary of HHS, having decades of experience as a doctor and having served in leadership positions in the House of Representatives, including as Chairman of the House Committee on the Budget.

The Department of Health and Human Services is in charge of spending $1.1 trillion annually. HHS is the Department that governs Medicaid, Medicare, and other healthcare-related issues, like the implementation of Obamacare. During the course of the Obama administration, HHS issued egregious regulations including the contraceptive mandate, which required even the Little Sisters of the Poor, a group of nuns, to have contraceptive coverage in their insurance plan….. Dr. Price is the person to roll back these politically driven regulations that lack medical justification and to protect the consciences of employers, employees, and medical providers.

Dr. Price’s confirmation hearings over the last two weeks made it clear he is just the man for the job. Dr. Price highlighted his concern for the American people and his desire for all Americans to have access to world-renown care. He noted that though more people may have insurance coverage under Obamacare, people’s deductibles and premiums have gone up exponentially which causes them to have poor healthcare, even though they have insurance coverage.

Call your Senators today at (202) 224-3121,or email them at the link below and ask them to support the immediate confirmation of Representative Price to be Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services of the United States.

Price has a long pro-life voting record as a member of Congress and has voted pro life 100% of the time according to the National Right to Life Committee.

In a statement about the nomination, Trump said Price has earned a reputation for being a “tireless problem solver” and “the go-to expert on healthcare policy.”

“He is exceptionally qualified to shepherd our commitment to repeal and replace Obamacare and bring affordable and accessible healthcare to every American,” Mr. Trump said. “I am proud to nominate him as secretary of Health and Human Services.”

Mr. Price, chairman of the House Budget Committee and an outspoken opponent of Obamacare from Georgia, said it’s an “honor” to be nominated for the position.

“There is much work to be done to ensure we have a healthcare system that works for patients, families, and doctors; that leads the world in the cure and prevention of illness; and that is based on sensible rules to protect the well-being of the country while embracing its innovative spirit,” said Mr. Price, Georgia Republican.

During a debate over legislation to stop taxpayer funding of abortion, Congressman Price laid out his pro-life views.

“This legislation prohibits taxpayer funding of elective abortions, no matter where in the federal system that might occur. This is a position supported by the majority of Americans in a bipartisan manner. We have a responsibility, through our government, to protect the most vulnerable among us, not the least of whom are the unborn. This bill is an important step in the right direction,” he said.

Price has also blasted the Independent Payment Advisory Board, which has been derisively called “death panels” by detractors.

He said: “Patients, families, and doctors should make medical decisions, not Washington, DC. The Independent Payment Advisory Board is a direct threat to quality, innovative and responsive health care for America’s seniors. This board of unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats has the power to deny care to seniors by deciding unilaterally what care will be paid for. Repealing IPAB will help protect the patient-doctor relationship for Medicare beneficiaries. It is part of what must be a broader effort to focus attention on solutions that put patients first.”

“When bureaucrats choose, patients lose,”he concluded.

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