Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), a thorn in the side of President Trump for much of the last four years, has reportedly been asked by Joe Biden to lead the Department of Health and Human Services.
“He is currently discussing the nomination with his family and is expected to accept the appointment,” The Buffalo Chronicle reported Saturday.
“Biden advisors expect that Romney — a former management consultant by training and a former CEO of Bain Capital — will be tasked with making the national healthcare system more affordable without legislation that modifies the Affordable Care Act,” the Chronicle reported. “It’s unclear if Romney will be tasked with creating open market pricing systems for a’la carte medical services, which could advance the work that the Trump administration has done to require providers to make pricing for their services public. That strategy is seen as key to creating a price competitive atmosphere between providers.”
But should Romney accept such an appointment, that would cost the GOP a senator — at least temporarily. “According to State law in Utah a Senate vacancy will be filled by gubernatorial appointment from one of three individuals nominated by the Legislature, each of whom must be a member of the political party of the prior officeholder,” the paper wrote.
According to the Chronicle, Romney hopes that Republican Governor Gary Herbert will appoint former Rep. Mia Love (R) to fill the vacancy.
Although the failed 2012 presidential candidate has ripped Trump from time to time, Romney came to his defense in recent days, saying the president has a right to pursue recounts and legal challenges. But he also said Trump’s claims about voter fraud are not helpful.
“I think one has to be careful in the choice of words. I think when you say the election was corrupt or stolen or rigged that that’s unfortunately rhetoric that gets picked up by authoritarians around the world. And I think it also discourages confidence in our democratic process here at home,” Romney said Sunday on NBC.
Romney also said on CNN Sunday that he thinks we need to “get behind the new president, unless for some reason that’s overturned, we get behind the new president and wish him the very best.”
The senator also said Americans shouldn’t “expect [Trump] to go quietly in the night,” adding that he “would prefer to see the world watching a more graceful departure, but that is just not in the nature of the man.”
Former Republican Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who dropped out of the 2016 presidential race after Trump took a commanding lead, also deemed Biden the winner on Saturday after the media declared the race for the former vice president.
“Congratulations to President-elect Biden,” said Bush. “I have prayed for our President most of my adult life. I will be praying for you and your success. Now is the time to heal deep wounds. Many are counting on you to lead the way.”
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