Rep. Tom Price, M.D., resigned his U.S. House seat today from Georgia’s sixth district after he was confirmed by the Senate as the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Rep. Price shared some remarks to the U.S. House prior to his confirmation and subsequent resignation, which can be seen after the break.
“Mr. Speaker, it is expected that the United States Senate will vote on my nomination to serve our nation as the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services shortly after midnight tonight. Due to the schedule, if I am confirmed, this is the last opportunity for me to address the House.
“The opportunity to serve as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives has truly been one of the greatest honors of my life. Respectfully, allow me to take this opportunity to reflect on my time in Congress over the past 12 years.
“Mr. Speaker, first and foremost, I wish to thank my wife of 33 years, Betty. Her love, support, encouragement, and advice means more than I could ever say. In addition, as all here know, these jobs are family affairs – and our son, Robert, allowed his dad to be absent more than either of us desired. We’re so very proud of the adult he has become.
“Furthermore, this job and my passion for serving would not have been possible without the support and friendship of my colleagues, community, family, constituents, and staff throughout the years. It has been a blessing to work with such talented and bright minds to advance positive solutions to some of our nation’s toughest issues and challenges.
“As members of Congress, our first priority is to be accessible and accountable to those we serve, and to help support those living and working in our communities. That is why I am proud to say that since 2005, 164 of Georgia 6th’s most bright and dedicated young people received an appointment to one of our nation’s military academies.
“In addition, we have responded to nearly 600,000 letters, calls, and emails. Our caseworkers and team have had the privilege of helping over 11,000 constituents with federal agencies. Throughout the years, as just one part of our outreach efforts, we’ve made contact with over a million constituents via telephone town halls.
“To all the hardworking, decent citizens of Georgia’s 6th District who have given me the privilege of representing them in Congress – I will be forever grateful.
“Mr. Speaker, as you know, constituents are the reason that we’re given this honor to serve and I know that my Georgia colleagues understand and appreciate this immense responsibility.
“Over the years, my Georgia colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives and Georgia’s Senators—including Senators Isakson, Perdue, and Chambliss—and I have worked together to secure wins for our great state.
“We’ve worked in a bipartisan fashion to help advance the necessary expansion of the Savannah Harbor, key to promoting our state’s commerce and a critical component to helping grow our economy and create jobs.
“We’ve also worked together to preserve and safeguard Georgia and the Atlanta area’s access to a reliable water source, so that our local communities and state can continue to grow and prosper.
“More recently, we succeeded in enacting a law to rename a Marietta Post Office in honor of a true hero, Marietta’s Marine Lance Corporal Skip Wells, a proud Marine who made the ultimate sacrifice and selflessly gave his life to protect his fellow service members and to protect our nation.
“Mr. Speaker, I am honored to have served and to have experienced firsthand our representative democracy in action – and alongside such honorable, dedicated public servants who have offered me both their friendship and counsel during my time in Congress.
“Over the past twelve years, I have had the honor to be chosen by my colleagues to serve as Chairman of the Republican Study Committee in the 111th Congress and in the 112th Congress as a member of the House Republican Leadership as Chairman of the Republican Policy Committee. In these leadership roles, my House colleagues and I have helped advance conservative Republican principles and solutions aimed at tackling the challenges facing America.
“Additionally, during the 114th Congress, it was an honor to be chosen to serve as the Chairman of the House Budget Committee where we succeeded in passing the first joint ten-year balanced budget agreement in over a decade. That success was due in large part to the tremendous staff on the committee as well as my colleagues who served on this committee in both the House and Senate.
“Together, we have much to be proud of – especially the work done to advance a real reform of the Congressional Budget Process. We must fix our broken budget process in order to enhance constitutional authority, strengthen budget enforcement, reverse the higher spending bias in Congress, control automatic spending, increase transparency, and ensure fiscal sustainability.
“Our budget resolutions have provided blueprints for how we can put our nation’s fiscal house in order while saving and strengthening vital health and retirement programs as well as ensuring needed resources for those who protect and defend our great nation; solutions that will ensure taxpayer dollars from American families and businesses are spent in an accountable and effective way.
“It is through the budget process that Congress has begun an important effort to put in place positive, patient-centered solutions to fix our nation’s broken health care system. The status quo is harming Americans and their families.
“Mr. Speaker, as my colleagues know, helping achieve access to quality, affordable health care for all Americans has long been a driving force behind my legislative efforts in Congress. My first professional calling was to care for patients – following in the footsteps of both my father and grandfather who were also physicians.
“That’s why we authored and introduced the Empowering Patients First Act—an alternative to Obamacare with real, patient-centered reforms to build a more innovative and responsive health care system – one that empowers patients and ensures they and their doctor have the freedom to make health care decisions without bureaucratic interference or influence.
“Mr. Speaker, it is my goal and commitment to the American people that I will work as Secretary of HHS to ensure that our health care system adheres to what I call the six principles of health care: affordability, accessibility, quality, choices, innovation, and responsiveness.
“The new Administration and HHS will work together with the Congress to get Washington out of the way, to protect and strengthen our country’s health care system to help improve the lives of the American people, to help heal individuals and whole communities across our beloved nation.
“It is truly an honor to accept President Trump’s nomination to serve our nation as the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. My obligation will be to carry to the Department both an appreciation for bipartisan, team-driven policymaking and what has been a lifetime commitment to improving the health and well being of the American people.
“I am humbled by the incredible challenges that lay ahead and enthusiastic for the opportunity to be a part of solving them on behalf of all Americans. There is much work to be done to ensure we have a health care system that works for patients, families, and doctors; that leads the world in the cure and prevention of illness; and that is based on sensible rules to protect the well-being of the country while embracing its innovative spirit.
“With a healthy dose of humility and appreciation for the scope of the challenges before us, with the assistance of my fellow Americans and with God’s will, we can make it happen.
“Mr. Speaker, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today and once again, thank you to the constellation of individuals who have given me this great honor to serve as the Congressman for Georgia’s 6th District. May God continue to bless you and our beloved United States of America.”