January 24,2017

Press Contact:

Aaron Fobes, Julia Lawless 202-224-4515

Dr. Tom Price: A Vetting Timeline

Nominee Subjected to Vetting Period Twice as Long as Obama’s HHS Secretaries Combined

Throughout the nominations process, the Senate Finance Committee, under the leadership of Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), has worked to ensure the incoming Trump Administration’s nominees are held to the same, bipartisan vetting and hearing process afforded to the Obama Administration’s nominees.   The disclosure process, while not traditionally made public with rare exception, is part of the Committee’s normal bipartisan vetting process and reconciles any potential discrepancies needed to proceed with the nomination.  By the time the confirmation hearing is held today for Dr. Tom Price to lead the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), his vetting process will have lasted more than twice as long as the past two Health and Human Services Secretaries combined.  And as part of its long-standing practice, Chairman Hatch will maintain the Committee standard allowing members and the public to submit materials for the record.

Below is a timeline of Congressman Tom Price’s vetting process:

  • November 29, 2016 – President-elect Trump Announces Nomination
    • See Hatch statement here
  • December 21, 2016 – Paperwork Received (3 years tax returns and completed questionnaire), Bipartisan Vetting Process Commences:
    • Vetting process includes, but is not limited to:
      • Thorough review of tax returns and additional exchanges between the nominee and the Committee. As part of this exercise, Rep. Price submitted over 700 pages of documents.
      • Committee members are encouraged and free to set up direct one-on-one meetings with the nominee.
  • January 11, 2017 - Office of Government Ethics Provides Committee with Official Financial Disclosure and Ethics Agreement
  • Committee members have ample time to review the official public financial disclosure forms provided by the Office of Government Ethics, in advance of a Committee hearing
  • January 17, 2017 - Hearing Noticed
  • See advisory here
  • Committee member staff has an opportunity to meet directly with the nominee to ask direct questions and request clarifications on positions of certain policies.

Vetting Process Duration (time between initial paperwork submission and hearing): 35 Days

Additional Background:

Under the Senate Finance Committee’s bipartisan vetting process, nominees are required to submit three years of tax returns and a completed Committee questionnaire.  After that paperwork is submitted, the bipartisan vetting process begins.  The nominee is separately required to work with the Office of Government Ethics (OGE) to complete official financial disclosures and ethics agreements.  To further complete a nominee’s file, the Senate Finance Committee requires final and official financial disclosures and ethics agreements to be provided to the Committee by OGE, along with a completed background check from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Upon completion of the file and the vetting process, the Finance Committee can hold a hearing.

The process is the same process applied to President Obama’s nominees.  A timeline for the confirmation process of Obama nominees Tom Daschle, Kathleen Sebelius, and Sylvia Mathews Burwell is below:



Nomination Announced

Paperwork Received

Committee Consideration

Duration of Committee Vetting Process

Date Confirmed


Health & Human Services

Tom Daschle







Health & Human Services

Kathleen Sebelius




16 Days 


65-31 (9 R’s)

Health & Human Services

Sylvia Mathews Burwell




17 Days 


78-17 (24 R’s)