Horsford rips Trump appointee for spending to polish her brand

Vice-president Mike Pence swearing in CMS Administrator Seema Verma. (VP twitter photo)
Vice-president Mike Pence swearing in CMS Administrator Seema Verma. (VP twitter photo)

Calling it an “abuse of taxpayer trust,” Rep. Steven Horsford Friday said he is formally calling for his colleagues on the House Ways and Means Committee to investigate reports of a Trump administration official spending public money on consultants to help her polish her image.

Politico reported Friday that Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma has directed more than $2 million to Republican consultants, including one to help her improve her image.

Horsford, who serves on the Ways and Means, said in a statement that he has spoken with committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA), and is “formally requesting that our committee look into this abuse of taxpayer trust.”

“It’s alarming that the administration would funnel millions of dollars to Republican political consultants while proposing devastating cuts to the critical health care programs they oversee,” Horsford said. “The Trump Administration just proposed cutting more than one trillion dollars from the Medicare and Medicaid programs that seniors, low-income families and individuals with disabilities rely on for their health care. They owe the American people answers about why their cost-cutting measures don’t extend to their public relations budget.”

Hugh Jackson
Editor | Hugh Jackson has been writing about Nevada policy and politics for more than 20 years. He was editor of the Las Vegas Business Press, senior editor at the Las Vegas CityLife weekly newspaper, daily political commentator on the Las Vegas NBC affiliate, and wrote the then-groundbreaking Las Vegas Gleaner, which among other things was the only independent political blog from Nevada that was credentialed at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. He spent a few years as a senior energy and environmental policy analyst for Public Citizen, and has occasionally worked as a consultant on mining, taxation, education and other issues for Nevada labor and public interest organizations. His freelance work has been published in outlets ranging from the Guardian to Desert Companion to In These Times to the Oil & Gas Journal. For several years he also taught U.S. History courses at UNLV. Prior to moving to Las Vegas, he was a reporter and then assistant managing editor at the Casper Star-Tribune, Wyoming’s largest newspaper.


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