August 4, 2017 Radio Commentary

Trump’s Georgia Appointees

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, August 4, 2017 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

President Donald Trump’s 16-member Executive Cabinet includes two men from Georgia. The first Georgian he tapped for cabinet service is Congressman Tom Price from Congressional District 6 that just elected his successor, Karen Handel.

Congressman Price was nominated Secretary of Health and Human Services on November 29th, and was confirmed by the Senate’s 52-47 straight party-line vote on February 10, 2017. As HHS Secretary, Mr. Price is working to repeal Obamacare.

After receiving his medical degree in Michigan, Dr. Price completed his residency at Emory University in Atlanta, where he ran an orthopedic clinic for 20 years, then returned to Emory as assistant professor of orthopedic surgery and director of Grady Hospital’s orthopedic clinic.

On January 18, 2017 former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue was nominated Secretary of the Department of Agriculture and was confirmed by the Senate in a sweeping 87-11 vote on April 24th.  On April 25th he was sworn in by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas from Georgia to become the 31st USDA Secretary.  He tweeted: “I was a farmer first.  When you’re in agriculture, you don’t often need a tie.  Rolling up my sleeves and getting to work at USDA.”The UGA newspaper said, “The former Georgia governor is the son of a farmer and is a UGA alumnus from the class of 1971 … [after earning his Doctor of Veterinary degree, he] went on to build three small businesses in grain trading and trucking before entering Georgia politics.”

New to the Trump legal team is Brooklyn-born Attorney Jay Sekulow, who graduated from Lakeside High in DeKalb County, earned a degree from Mercer University School of Law, and describes himself as a Messianic Jew.  In 1987 he helped Jews for Jesus defeat a ban on distributing religious literature at Los Angeles International Airport and has appeared before the Supreme Court eleven times.  For 30 years he has litigated for conservatives, religious expression, the Christian right, and antiabortion advocates.  In 1991 he became chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice that Pat Robertson founded to counteract the ACLU.

On July 12th the Senate Judiciary Committee had a confirmation hearing for Atlanta Attorney Christopher Wray, a King and Spalding partner and Trump nominee for FBI Director.  Mr. Wray led the Justice Department Criminal Division for two years in the Bush administration and represented New Jersey Governor Christie during the “Bridge-gate scandal.”  On July 20th the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved his appointment and on August 1st in a bipartisan vote of 92-5 Mr. Wray was confirmed by the Senate.  After taking the oath of office on August 2nd, he became Director of the FBI.  For Georgia Insight I’m Sue Ella Deadwyler, your Capitol correspondent.