January 19, 2017

Kaine Statement On Nominations Of Nikki Haley, Tom Price, And Betsy Devos

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committees, released the following statement today on the nominations of Nikki Haley to be Ambassador to the United Nations, Tom Price to be Secretary of Health and Human Services, and Betsy DeVos to be Secretary of Education after participating in the three nominees’ confirmation hearings this week:

“I will support the nomination of Governor Haley to be Ambassador to the UN. While Governor Haley made some factually inaccurate statements about the Iran nuclear deal during her testimony, she demonstrated a commitment to ensuring Iran’s strict compliance with the deal and also expressed her support for a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians. I’m pleased that Governor Haley acknowledged that a free press is both a human right and an American value and that she agreed that the United States should lead by example in respecting the role of journalists in a democratic society. I believe her background as a Governor will position her well to express American values at the UN and contribute to necessary reforms of the organization.

“I will oppose the nomination of Representative Tom Price to be Secretary of Health and Human Services. Rep. Price has championed policies that would hurt the health of Virginians. He advocates turning Medicaid into a block grant program, voted against critical programs like the Children’s Health Insurance Program, supported Medicare changes that would shift costs to seniors, endorsed defunding Planned Parenthood, and called for a full repeal of the Affordable Care Act. At his confirmation hearing, Rep. Price reiterated his desire to push policies that would raise health care costs, limit access to care, and increase patient anxiety. These policies would do serious harm to our health care system and violate President-elect Trump’s campaign promise not to cut Medicare and Medicaid benefits.

“During Mrs. DeVos’s confirmation hearing, I asked her whether she shared my conviction that all K-12 schools receiving taxpayer funding should adhere to the same accountability standards and protections for kids with disabilities. Her reluctance to answer my questions and her suggestion that each state could decide which schools would comply with the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act were disturbing. I am also concerned that the HELP Committee has not yet had the chance to review Mrs. Devos’s ethics disclosures. I look forward to receiving this paperwork in the coming days and hope that Mrs. DeVos can answer questions about this material in a second round of questioning before the Committee.  I plan to wait until her ethics paperwork is received to make a final decision on her nomination.”