Franken crushes Price on tobacco and corruption (8 minutes)
As one of the worst nominees in the worst cabinet ever proposed, Rep. Tom Price stands out. Not only because he opposes most of the programs his department is supposed to administer, but also because he may well have committed a criminal act for the purpose of making a big score in the stock market.
For lay people, what Price did was tantamount to insider trading. He bought a large amount of stock in a company that would be very positively affected by legislation before congress. Price then fought hard, one could almost say lobbied for this legislation to pass. When it did, Price saw his investment increase immensely.
Price’s actions are the very epitome of the kind of corruption that the average American finds so disgusting.
In 2012 a bill was passed in Congress known as the STOCK act to stop this very type of action. Congressmember Dave Loebsack of Iowa was one of the early sponsors in the House.
In the senate, Iowa’s Chuck Grassley was also an early supporter of a much stronger STOCK act. In the end, Grassley voted against it because the bill did not go far enough. Sounds good. Sounds like real integrity.
Senator Grassley now sits on the committee that is conducting the hearings on Rep. Price’s confirmation as the Secretary of Health and Human Service. This is where the rubber meets the road for Grassley.
Price may technically have not violated the STOCK act, but as the new saying goes, it doesn’t pass the smell test. In fact this one stinks to high heaven.
In the past couple of decades, Senator Grassley has been a nearly automatic vote for the Republican Party. However in this case, Grassley seems to be caught in a true Republican dilemma. Will he follow his previous course of action and vote not to advance Rep. Price? Or will Grassley once more talk integrity and act as a go-along vote for the Republicans?
Listen to a Bradcast segment on Grassley and the Price nomination. (start at ~ 27:00 Grassley mentioned at 32:30 ends at 35:00)
When we talk about Grassley and integrity we are talking about a tenuous link at best. Integrity has always been a malleable commodity for Grassley – one only need to look at his invention of the reasoning behind stopping Merrick Garland’s appointment to the Supreme Court as an example. Or one could think back to the lies he told about the ACA as he worked to defeat it.
We will know shortly which side of Grassley we will see. In my mind I have no doubt we will see Grassley, the Republican go-along.
Elizabeth Warren Rips Tom Price (10 minutes)