Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) is announcing today that he plans to vote “no” on the nominations of Rep. Tom Price for Secretary of Health and Human Services and Steven Mnuchin for Secretary of the Treasury. Casey met with each of the nominees, reviewed their record, questioned them at Senate committee hearings as well as submitted follow up questions in writing to both in order to make this decision. Statements on the rationale on each decision are outlined below.
Rep. Tom Price
“Representative Price has been the architect of radical schemes to end the guaranteed benefit of Medicare and cut nursing home funding for seniors by block granting Medicaid. As a candidate, President Trump pledged not to cut vital programs for seniors like Medicare and Medicaid. Then he chose an HHS nominee who proposed budgets that cut $1 trillion from these vital programs. I met with Representative Price, questioned him during hearings of both the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions and Finance Committees and I reviewed his answers to written questions submitted afterwards. I asked him whether those with preexisting conditions, victims of domestic violence and those with disabilities would have protections during the Trump Administration. In each instance, he declined to offer a firm commitment. Under questioning, Representative Price did not repudiate his plan to block grant Medicaid, which would mean cuts in nursing home care for seniors, less coverage for those with disabilities and job losses for those who work in Pennsylvania hospitals. Block granting Medicaid would also adversely impact rural hospitals across Pennsylvania and the more than 275,00 rural Pennsylvanians who receive the health care benefit of Medicaid. If President Trump and Representative Price attempt to gut the very programs that our seniors have earned, then I will fight them every step of the way. I will vote against his nomination to lead the Department of Health and Human Services.”
“During the Great Recession, millions of middle class families in Pennsylvania and across the nation lost their homes and their life’s savings. Steve Mnuchin saw “an opportunity” and formed OneWest, which the California Reinvestment Coalition identified as a “foreclosure machine.” He also owned Financial Freedom, which engaged in well documented practices to aggressively foreclose on working families and seniors with reverse mortgages.
After the tragic losses of her husband and son, Nellie Mlinek of Ruffs Dale in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania asked OneWest to adjust her monthly payments. OneWest chose to foreclose on her home instead of working with her to make payments, despite the fact that she had a long record of making her mortgage payments. According to a WTAE news report, Ms. Milnek was not alone in her suffering. Mr. Mnuchin oversaw foreclosures on “hundreds of homeowners in Western Pennsylvania.” When Philadelphia’s Ruth Guerriero’s husband signed on to a reverse mortgage without her knowing, Mr. Mnuchin’s financial institution chose to kick her out of her home following her husband’s death. Unfortunately, Mr. Mnuchin said he’s “proud” of his institution’s record.
I had the opportunity to meet with Mr. Mnuchin, question him as a member of the Senate Finance Committee and review his answers to questions submitted after the hearing. In our meeting, I asked Mr. Mnuchin how many times his financial institution chose to modify mortgages as opposed to foreclosing; he told me it engaged in 100,000 mortgage modifications yet the true number was closer to 35,000. I asked Mr. Mnuchin whether his financial intuition engaged in the predatory practice of robo-signing on mortgages; he said that wasn’t the case but the documented evidence shows it was.
I will vote against his confirmation as Secretary of Treasury.”