Another one of President Obama’s top cabinet nominees is unveiling tax troubles. Former Senate Democratic leader and Obama’s pick for Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Daschle has apologized after paying more than $140,000 in back taxes and interest.
Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says in one week, Daschle will go before the Senate Finance Committee, a panel on which Grassley is the ranking Republican.
Grassley says: “There’s going to be a heck of a lot of other issues other than just the taxes that I’m going to be interested in and most of those is his role and his philosophy in health care reform. We in rural America could be hurt very dramatically if we don’t do the right sort of health care reform.”
Just last week, Timothy Geithner was confirmed as Obama’s Treasury Secretary, despite his own tax troubles. Grassley says it’s getting rather absurd — and sad.
“There is something that I suppose sounds like a joke but there is some seriousness to it,” Grassley says. “The more people like this that we’re getting nominated, the more money we’re getting into the federal treasury.” Grassley voted against the Geithner nomination but says he will not make a ruling on Daschle until after next week’s hearing.
“I don’t know whether I’m finding so much fault with people like Daschle and Geithner as I am with a president that wanted to get his administration up and running, bragged about the vetting process, bragged about not having ethics problems and conflicts of interest, but just look at the stumbles that have been made,” Grassley adds, “there is kind of a sadness that these people that are otherwise qualified have not met the law.”