A number of cabinet-designees will face committee hearings this week in a prelude to committee and Senate approvals baring any controversies. Congressman Tom Price has been scheduled for a hearing before the HELP Committee on January 18 but his position requires hearings before both HELP and Finance Committees. Only Finance votes to approve the HHS Secretary. Finance has not scheduled a hearing yet and over the weekend a brewing controversy was emerging over background checks for several nominees.
Several of the President-Elect Trump designees were not been fully vetted by his team before they were nominated. As a result the Office of Government Ethics warned this past weekend that that office is overwhelmed by the background checking process and that could allow for several nominees to face hearings without all the necessary background checks and information submitted by the nominees. Along those lines some critics on the Democratic side of Congress have raised questions about Congressman Price’s stocks and investments in health care. HHS could be on a slower track when it comes to the HHS nominee since that Committee will also vet the Secretary of Treasury. There will be pressure by Senate leadership and the incoming administration to move fast since HHS has the role in the repeal of the ACA.