A divided, testy Senate OKs Trump health secretary

Health and Human Services Secretary-designate, Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., right, accompanied by Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., pauses while testifying on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017, at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Republicans have driven President Donald Trump’s choice for health secretary through a testy Senate in a party-line vote.

The 52-47 roll call early Friday means Georgia GOP Rep. Tom Price will head the Health and Human Services Department. He’ll help lead the Republican push to erase President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul and the administration will likely issue regulations aimed at curbing the law.

It was the Senate’s fourth consecutive contested vote for a Trump Cabinet secretary. Partisan battles for Cabinet posts are usually rare, but the first weeks of Trump’s presidency have seen little collegiality between the two sides.

Price is a veteran House member and orthopedic surgeon who Republicans call a knowledgeable pick for the job. Democrats say he’s an ideologue whose policies would snatch care from many Americans.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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