Tom Price’s Confirmation Hearing Muddies the Swamp

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On Tuesday, at the confirmation hearing for Representative Tom Price, of Georgia, for Secretary of Health and Human Services, Senator Richard Burr, a Republican from North Carolina, asked him, “Does it burn you that they want to hold you to a different standard, now that you’re a nominee, than they are as a member?” The “they” were Democrats who had raised questions about Price’s trading in the stocks of companies that the House committees he sat on helped to regulate; in one case, this had involved a private placement of a stock—its sale, that is, to a few people the company chose, rather than on the open market—at a below-market price. That didn’t bother Burr; indeed, what he and other Republicans found disturbing—scandalous, even—was that anyone would question these dealings. Burr spoke in a sad, low tone of circumspect rage, with an expression one might reserve for a martyr, and Price, with a modest smile, responded as such.

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