11 Quick and Dirty Facts About Donald Trump’s Latest Cabinet Picks

On Tuesday, Trump announced that he was nominating Tom Price to serve as secretary of health and human services, and Elaine Chao as secretary of transportation. 

Former U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao arrives at Trump Tower in New York City on another day of meetings scheduled with President-elect Donald Trump on Nov. 21, 2016.
Former U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao arrives at Trump Tower in New York City on another day of meetings scheduled with President-elect Donald Trump on Nov. 21, 2016. EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ/AFP/Getty Images

Facts About Rep. Tom Price

Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) is Trump’s pick for secretary of health and human services.

  1. Prior to coming to Congress, he practiced as an orthopedic surgeon for 20 years. He served four terms in the Georgia Senate before being elected to Congress in 2005. He is chairman of the House Budget Committee and sits on the House Committee on Ways and Means. He has previously served as chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee and chairman of the Republican Study Committee.  
  2. Price is a conservative who opposes abortion rights, and he is against marriage equality.
  3. He has repeatedly introduced legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
  4. In his time in Congress, Price has voted against legislation that would prohibit job discrimination based on sexual orientation, federal funding for abortion, funding for groups like Planned Parenthood, the law that requires the FDA to regulate tobacco like a drug and a bill that would give four weeks of parental leave to federal employees.
  5. While Price voted for a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as being between a man and a woman, he voted against a bill that would have ended the military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on sexual orientation.

If confirmed as secretary of health and human services, Price would run the government’s largest social programs, including Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and he would have authority over the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health and other major health agencies.

Facts About Elaine Chao

Elaine Chao is Trump’s pick for secretary of transportation.

  1. Chao is the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and if she is confirmed, it would make the second time the wife of a Senate majority leader has served as transportation secretary; Elizabeth Dole served in that position while her husband, Bob Dole, was Senate majority leader during the Ronald Reagan administration.
  2. Chao was deputy administrator of the Maritime Administration and chairman of the Federal Maritime Commission under President Reagan. She then served as deputy secretary of the Department of Transportation under George H.W. Bush before being nominated by him in 1991 to be Peace Corps director. She is the first Asian Pacific American to serve in that position.
  3. Chao later worked for the United Way of America,  serving four years as president of the organization, before becoming labor secretary under George W. Bush in 2001. She was the first Asian-American woman to be appointed to a president’s cabinet, and the only member of Bush’s Cabinet to serve the entire eight years of his presidency.
  4. During her time as labor secretary, Chao faced criticism in two mining disasters that occurred after mining inspections were reduced: Twelve miners were killed in the 2006 Sago Mine incident, and three rescue workers died the following year trying to reach trapped workers at the Crandall Canyon Mine. Although she announced beefed-up inspections after the two disasters, a 2008 inspector’s general report found that many mines still went uninspected.  
  5. Chao is currently a distinguished fellow at an educational and research institute in Washington, D.C. She has served as a fellow at the Heritage Foundation and a contributor at Fox News.
  6. Chao has also served as a director of Northwest Airlines and Parsons, an international construction company. She has an economics degree from Mount Holyoke College and earned her M.B.A. from Harvard University.

If confirmed, Chao will play a key role in the president-elect’s plan to invest $1 trillion in restoring bridges, roadways and transit systems over the next 10 years.

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