Trump's pick for the top healthcare official defends past votes supporting 'Confederate History Heritage Month'

President-elect Donald Trump's pick to lead the Department of Health and Human Services faced questions about resolutions he supported earlier in his career lauding the Confederate States of America.

Tom Price, a US representative from Georgia and former Georgia state senator, was asked by Sen. Tim Kaine about his support for a number of resolutions in the Georgia Senate supporting celebrations of the Confederacy.

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"When you were a member of the Georgia legislature, you fought pretty hard to keep the Confederate battle flag as part of the Georgia state flag and you sponsored resolutions to make April 'Confederate History Heritage Month' in Georgia," noted Kaine. "And, quote, 'urging schools to commemorate the time of Southern independence'."

Kaine also noted that the resolution sponsored by Price "mentions nothing about slavery" and asked why Price supported the resolution and what was "laudatory" about the time of Southern Independence.

"I think every heritage has things that are good about it, every heritage has things that are harmful about it," replied Price. "And I'm happy to answer the specific question, I think slavery was an abomination."

Price also noted that during his time as majority leader of the Georgia Senate, the state advanced for referendum the first state flag to not incorporate the Confederate battle flag. Though the new Georgia flag is noted as using elements from the first flag of the Confederacy, known as the "stars and bars" flag.

Kaine noted that he had just come from the hearing of South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley as UN ambassador. Kaine contrasted Haley's fight to remove the Confederate battle flag from the ground of the South Carolina state capitol with Price's record in Georgia.

Kaine used the aspect of Price's record to question the potential HHS director on his opinion about the Office of Minority Health which was created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare. Kaine asked how Price's plan to repeal the ACa would impact the office.

Price replied that the continued existence of the Office of Minority Health was a "legislative question" for a replacement bill, later in the hearing he did not confirm or deny that he supported keeping the office in place.'

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