Democrats Boycott Price, Mnuchin Committee Votes
January 31, 2017

Democrats do not have a lot of tools in their toolbox to fight the extremists Trump has nominated, but it's good to see them using the ones they have.

Senate Finance Committee Democrats failed to appear this morning for votes on Treasury Secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin and HHS Nominee Tom Price. Both of these nominations are terrible for a number of reasons. Just yesterday, news broke that Tom Price bought health stocks on a preferred basis. Despite his testimony that his purchase of Innate Immunotherapeutics, Inc. was offered to "everyone," the facts speak otherwise.

In fact, the cabinet nominee was one of fewer than 20 U.S. investors who were invited last year to buy discounted shares of the company—an opportunity that, for Mr. Price, arose from an invitation from a company director and fellow congressmen.

The shares were discounted 12% off the traded price in mid-June only for investors who participated in a private placement arranged to raise money to complete a clinical trial. The company’s shares have tripled since the offering.

A spokesman for Mr. Price didn’t respond to requests for comment and referred to earlier statements issued by Mr. Price’s spokesmen. Mr. Price previously has said he has done nothing wrong and that he disclosed all his trades.

The details of Mr. Price’s share purchase have drawn questions during his congressional hearings because they could indicate whether he received preferential treatment based on a congressional connection and wasn’t the average investor he has portrayed himself to be.

Mr. Price—whose confirmation to be health secretary depends on a vote in the Senate Finance Committee, scheduled for Tuesday, and then the full Senate—said he learned of the company from his friend Rep. Chris Collins (R., N.Y.), a company director and its largest shareholder.

This is how you stand up, Democrats. Do what you can with what you have. We know we're in the minority, but resisting makes a difference.

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