As we pointed out last week, math pretty much guarantees that Georgia Congressman Tom Price will be confirmed as Donald Trump’s health and human services secretary in the new year.
If Republicans can stick together, they can fend off Democratic opposition to the nomination thanks to a change to Senate rules made by Democrat Harry Reid in 2013 that gutted the filibuster on executive nominations.
That doesn’t mean Democrats will make it easy for Republicans to quickly confirm members of Trump’s Cabinet.
Plans are in the works to slow-walk Price’s and other nominations, according to Politico:
Democrats could conceivably force up to 30 hours of debate for each Cabinet nominee, which would be highly disruptive for a GOP Senate that usually works limited hours but has big ambitions for next year. The minority could also stymie lower-level nominees and potentially keep the Senate focused on executive confirmations for weeks as Trump assumes the presidency and congressional Republicans try to capitalize on their political momentum.
…Democrats are likely to require roll call votes and possibly delay the nominations of Betsy DeVos to be secretary of education and Tom Price to be Health and Human Services secretary, in addition to Mattis, Mnuchin and Sessions.
That course of action would delay Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s plan to install several members of Trump’s Cabinet on inauguration day.
By our count three Democratic senators have confirmed they plan to vote against Price when his nomination comes up for a vote in 2017.
The chamber’s Democratic leaders released a report Monday further expressing their displeasure with Price’s past stances on entitlement programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.
“Despite pledging not to cut Social Security and Medicare, the President-elect has decided to nominate Congressman Price to serve as HHS Secretary, where Rep. Price could easily implement parts of his radical agenda,” Chuck Schumer of New York, the incoming Senate Democratic leader, said in a statement Monday.
We broke down some of Price’s past health care proposals here and how they could get a new look in 2017.
Read more of the AJC’s Tom Price coverage: