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The Trump administration is shaping up to have some familiar faces with Georgia ties. The Trump cabinet sure looks “peachy” compared to past administrations.
“It’s really interesting to see Georgia so heavily involved in the cabinet process this year,” said Roya Naghepour, a political science and international affairs major from Roswell. “Having both Governor Perdue and Representative Price representing the peach state in D.C. brings our state to the forefront of national politics.”
Tom Price, formerly representing Georgia’s sixth district, was tapped to be Secretary of Health and Human Services. After narrowly being confirmed by the Senate, Price was thought to largely be in charge of dismantling the Affordable Care Act, as promised by President Trump and Republican leaders.
In March, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan introduced The American Healthcare Act. The Obamacare replacement was deemed a disaster by critics on both sides of the aisle, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the bill “dead on arrival.”
“I hope Tom Price is responsible with his powerful position that he was appointed to, to look after the best interests of the American citizens and not to protect his physician colleagues,” said Gil Kandrac, a former constituent of Representative Price and certified nurse anesthetist in Roswell.
According to CNBC, Republicans do have another healthcare bill they’re hoping to introduce with the support of moderates and the Freedom Caucus. No vote has been scheduled for that bill.
Secretary Price, an orthopedic surgeon, has been in involved in healthcare since the 1980s. While Obamacare seems to be here to stay for now, how Secretary Price will run HHS and continue implement Obamacare as a conservative is yet come to fruition. Some speculate HHS may give more control back to the states, other believe his plans for HHS will be radical. Whatever the case, it’s clear that without the GOP replacement bill, only limited changes can be made.
Former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue also has a seat in President Trump’s Cabinet as Secretary of Agriculture. Perdue, a double Dawg, was governor of Georgia from 2003-2011. Perdue is also first cousins with Georgia’s junior senator, David Perdue. His experience in an agriculture-rich state is promising to many.
Jake Parker, a senior applied biotechnology major in the College of Agriculture from Perry, said, “I’m really excited about Sonny. He has a lot of different businesses thorough in agriculture, and he’s experienced obviously as a veterinarian and in crop sciences.”
Parker sees Perdue’s appointment as a huge step for Georgia’s role in the next Farm Bill. “We’re one of the most diverse states: forestry, cropping, fishing, the importance of the port in Savannah and our coastline. In terms of diversity, he (Perdue) knows how to handle different issues versus someone from the Midwest where it’s mostly cropping or animal production. There’s going to be a lot of well roundedness and talent so Georgia may get some special insight.”
Analysis by Marli Collier