Top Senator Expects Price Confirmation To Come Around Middle Of February
Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., who leads the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, says his panel and the Finance Committee should be able to move the nomination of Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., as Health and Human Services secretary by the Presidents' Day holiday. He adds that congressional leaders hope to consult with state leaders as they craft the health overhaul. “We’d like to move more decisions out of Washington back to the states," he says, "and we can’t do that without consulting extensively with the governors. They’re all going to be here Feb. 19 through 22."
HHS Nominee Might Not Be Confirmed Until Mid-February, Says Senator
President-elect Donald Trump said at a news conference Wednesday in New York City that a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act would come once Secretary of Health and Human Services nominee Rep. Tom Price of Georgia wins confirmation. But the chairman of a key committee involved in both the repeal-replace process and in confirming Price said his confirmation may not take place until around the President’s Day recess in February. (Lesniewski, 1/11)
In other news about the incoming administration —
Trump Meets With Two Contenders To Lead NIH
The president-elect met at Trump Tower with Dr. Francis Collins, the current NIH director, and Congressman Andy Harris of Maryland, who has expressed an interest in serving in the administration. Collins, who has led the agency for eight years under President Barack Obama, previously told STAT he would be willing to stay on as director if asked by Trump. Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker who has advised Trump over the last year, also told STAT that Collins was under serious consideration. (Scott, 1/11)
Trump Meets With Vaccine Skeptic, Discusses 'Committee On Vaccine Safety'
On Tuesday, Donald Trump met with Robert F. Kennedy Jr., an environmental lawyer and activist, who also happens to be an outspoken vaccine conspiracy theorist. After the meeting, Kennedy told reporters it went “very well,” and said that Trump “asked me to chair a commission on vaccine safety and scientific integrity.” He also said that Trump called him to ask for the meeting. (Beck, 1/10)