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Published: Wed, January 18, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Stock Trades Lead to Increased Democratic Pressure on HHS Nominee


This comes just days before he's slated to testify at his Senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday.

Phil Blando, a Price spokesman, did not initially respond directly to questions about the HHS nominee's purchase of Zimmer Biomet shares, instead pointing to a broader review of Price's holdings completed by the US Office of Government Ethics last week.

A week later Price introduced a bill called the HIP Act, which would have pushed out the start date for a new regulation that would be damaging to Zimmer Bodet's business.

House records reveal that in March of a year ago, Price purchased between $1,001 and $15,000 worth of stock in the Indiana-based medical device device maker Zimmer Biomet, CNN reports.

Senator Chuck Schumer, who leads the Democratic minority in the Senate, called for the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate whether Dr Price had violated the 2012 Stock Act, a law created to combat insider trading by United States congressman. Zimmer-Biomet and another large manufacturer of hip and knee replacement devices stood to lose the most from the new rule. He has vowed to divest from Zimmer Biomet and 42 other companies within 90 days of being confirmed.

After Price introduced the bill, Zimmer Biomet's PAC donated to his re-election campaign. Concerns over insider trading on Capitol Hill - where members of Congress allegedly traded stock based on intelligence gleaned from the legislative process - prompted the enactment of the STOCK Act in 2012 aimed at combating the practice.

"This is a very narrow, specific company that dealt with implants-hip and knee-and the legislation specifically affects implants".

Days later, he introduced legislation to the House of Representatives that would have delayed a regulation that could have ultimately damaged the company, CNN said.

Senator Chuck Schumer of NY, the leader of the Democratic minority in the Senate, called on the Office of Congressional Ethics to investigate whether Price had violated the 2012 Stock Act, a law created to combat insider trading.

Price's team, however, has pushed back at the accusations, noting that the congressman was not involved in the stock purchase and did not even know about it at the time he introduced the legislation in question.

After CNN's report published, Blando said: "Any effort to connect the introduction of Dr. Price's legislation, co-sponsored with Democrats, to a campaign contribution is demonstrably false".

Minority leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called for a probe by Office of Congressional Ethics into whether Price violated the 2012 Stock Act, a law created to combat insider trading in Congress. "[The Office of Congressional Ethics] needs to conduct an immediate, thorough investigation into Rep. Price's potential violations of the STOCK Act before [his nomination] moves forward".

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