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Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy joined a chorus of criticism against President-elect Donald Trump’s cabinet picks in the last two weeks.
In two press releases, Malloy denounced Trump’s picks and questioned their effects on policies such as Obamacare and criminal justice reform. The first statement, which was released Nov. 18, cited faults with Trump’s attorney general nomination, Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama. The second, issued on Nov. 29, criticized Georgia Rep. Tom Price, the incoming secretary of health and human services.
Malloy called both picks “troubling” and questioned Price and Sessions’ track records on policy, according to both press releases. Malloy also asked Trump and his cabinet to “follow the bipartisan work being done in Connecticut,” according to the Nov. 18 statement.
“U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions has a troubling track record on matters such as civil liberty protections and a history of demonstrating poor judgment as evidenced by his previous pejorative, insensitive comments toward people of color,” Malloy said in his first statement.
According to The Washington Post, when Sessions was a U.S. attorney in Alabama in the 1980s, he made some racially charged comments that have since drawn much criticism.
The NAACP also issued a statement on Nov. 18, following Trump’s announcement. The organization expressed concerns about Sessions being denied appointment as a federal judge in 1986 for racist comments, such as calling the NAACP and American Civil Liberties Union “un-American.”
In his statement, Malloy explained his stance regarding Sessions as attorney general. The job involves balancing the system in a way that is fair to all individuals and groups, not prejudiced against a specific community, Malloy wrote.
The governor, like many other Democrats analyzing Trump’s picks, called for Congress to scrutinize Trump’s picks during confirmation hearings.
According to Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman in the second press release, the main concern regarding Price’s appointment is the Affordable Care Act. Though Trump has revealed intentions to “preserve the cornerstones” of the act, picking Price jeopardizes those intentions as he is a staunch opponent of Obamacare, Wyman said.
She stated that the ACA has insured hundreds of thousands of state residents and reduced Connecticut’s uninsured rate to below 4 percent, among the lowest in the nation. Given these statistics, Wyman asserted that Price should keep the law while helping the new administration continue to expand access to good health care.
In the press release, Malloy expressed the same opinion, citing statistics that reveal the ACA’s impact in Connecticut.
“Our health insurance exchange enrolls over 100,000 residents in private qualified health plans, and our Medicaid program enrolls over 750,000, including 205,000 in expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act,” Malloy said.
In the release, he asserts the importance of the new administration considering policies that support public health care and do not negatively affect the steady progress Connecticut has seen.
However, Malloy has not disapproved of all of Trump’s picks. In a third press release on Nov. 29, he stated that he approved of Trump’s transportation secretary pick Elaine Chao and looks forward to working with her should her position be confirmed.
Trump stated that over the next week, he will reveal nearly all of his remaining cabinet picks.