The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that Georgia Rep. Tom Price traded more than $300,000 in shares of medical companies while in the U.S. House, which could mean more trouble for the Roswell Republican as he gears up for what’s likely to be a contentious hearing to be Donald Trump’s health secretary.
Rep. Tom Price, a Georgia Republican, bought and sold stock in about 40 health-care, pharmaceutical and biomedical companies since 2012, including a dozen in the current congressional session, according to a Wall Street Journal review of hundreds of pages of stock trades he filed with Congress.
In the same two-year period, he has sponsored nine and co-sponsored 35 health-related bills in the House. His stock trades included Amgen Inc., Bristol Meyers Squibb Co., Eli Lilly & Co., Pfizer Inc. and Aetna Inc.
His largest single stock buy was an August 2016 purchase of between $50,000 and $100,000 of an Australian biomedical firm, Innate Immunotherapeutics Inc., whose largest shareholder is a GOP congressman on the Trump transition team, according to the filings, which list price ranges. The stock has since doubled in price.
Price spokesman Phil Blando told the Journal that the Roswell Republican has “complied fully with all applicable laws and ethics rules governing his personal finances,” and that he would comply with the law if confirmed. Another Price aide declined further comment.
The trading is sure to be invoked during his Senate confirmation hearings next year. A 2012 law bans members and employees of Congress from using “nonpublic information” for their own financial benefit.
Georgia Democrats quickly raised questions about his stock trades.
“Citizens have a right to expect that their elected officials do what’s best for the community without concern for their own enrichment,” said Democratic state Sen. Vincent Fort, who served in the chamber with Price in the late 1990s and early 2000s. “Rep. Price owes this nation an explanation of his conduct before he becomes the leader of one of the most important federal agencies.”
Democratic Party of Georgia spokesman Michael Smith called it another of “many red flags” about Trump’s appointments to his Cabinet.
“The avalanche of conflicts of interest are foreboding of an administration more concerned with profit and personal gain than what’s in the best interest of the American people,” he said.
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