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Democratic senator: HHS nominee insider trading allegations are a "significant issue"

Tom Price hearing delay

With health and human services nominee Tom Price (R-Georgia) facing accusations of insider trading, one Democratic senator said Tuesday that the allegations against Price are a “significant issue” that should be dealt with before the Senate votes on Price’s nomination.

“I think there’s still some sorting out to do and I’m still examining those facts as well,” Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania) told CBSN’s Elaine Quijano for “Red and Blue,” a new daily politics show on CBSN. “I think it’s a significant issue and I think it should be fully answered.

Trump nominees face delayed hearings for Cabinet posts

Price, a Georgia congressman, bought shares in a medical device company last year and then introduced legislation in the U.S. House to help the company a week later, CBS News confirmed. The news was first reported by CNN on Monday evening.

Casey said the Senate should “try to arrive at a resolution of it one way or another before” a vote is held.

The Pennsylvania senator also expressed his concerns with two more of President-elect Donald Trump’s Cabinet nominees, treasury secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin and education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos. Both nominees are scheduled to appear before committees on which Casey sits.

Trump's HHS pick faces conflict of interest issues

With regard to Mnuchin, a Goldman Sachs veteran and former finance chairman for Mr. Trump’s campaign, Casey said he is concerned by the reverse mortgage practices of a company Mnuchin was involved in.

“What I want to examine is some of the assertions he made in the meeting with regard to why this banking entity took some of these actions,” he said.

And as for DeVos -- whose hearing Casey had just come from when he appeared on “Red and Blue” -- Casey noted that he has more questions for her about both her response to sexual assault on college campuses as well as her commitment to helping public schools.

“I think she has a heavy heavy burden of proof to demonstrate she will be truly committed to public education, the education of all children,” he said.

Casey, who plans to attend Mr. Trump’s swearing-in on Friday, said he believes the decision whether to attend is a personal choice for every lawmaker to make -- and that he has no problem with people like civil rights icon John Lewis and the dozens of other Democratic lawmakers who are skipping the ceremony.

“Look, it’s a determination that every member of Congress has to make, and I’m not going to tell another member whether they should or should not go,” he said. “I’m going, and I think it’s important in my judgment to go just to be part of the process of a transfer of power, but that’s a determination that others should make.”

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