The committee vote on Representative Tom Price as the Secretary of Health and Human services is set for tomorrow, and a floor vote will likely follow before the middle of next week. The Georgia Congressman’s advocacy for repealing-and-replacing the Affordable Care Act is well known, and we anticipate that the vote to confirm him as the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services will serve an analog to the Republican/Democratic divide on the law. When a budget blueprint hit the Senate floor accounting for its elimination earlier this year, all 48 Democrats and Independents caucusing with them opposed it. Using this and previous trial votes, we have estimated that the Congressman will be confirmed by the Republican majority, but will likely receive no Democratic support on the floor:
ACA repeal has been brought up repeatedly, and Congressional Democrats have opposed it every time. Several red state Democrats have voiced support for replacing ACA, but without such legislation up and ready on the table, and with the ACA’s status as a signature achievement of their Party, one it pushed through in the face of major electoral losses, we’d be shocked if any of these Senators surprise us. When Senator Joe Manchin, who supports Rex Tillerson, Senator Jeff Sessions, Scott Pruitt, and Rick Perry in their respective confirmations, expresses concerns about the nominee, this is almost certainly going to be a party-line vote.
Ultimately, unless a few Republican Senators suddenly get cold feet, Rep. Price will be the new Secretary of the HHS, thanks to the Reid Rule, which ended the filibuster for Cabinet nominees back in 2013. Democrats appear united on opposing a few of the President’s nominees, but they would still need a few wobbly Republicans to stop the remaining confirmations. If any Democrat, Independent, or Republican for that matter directly states they will vote differently, we will update the chart like we have done with other nominations.