The House Committee for Energy and Commerce has rejected a drug price bill in a shocking rebuke of House Speaker Pelosi and the Democratic leadership.
Democratic Congress-members Kurt Schrader, Kathleen Rice and Scott Peters voted along with their GOP colleagues on the panel, forming a 29-29 tie to pass the bill during a committee hearing this week. The hearing was to mark up sections of Democrats’ large $3.5 trillion budget package, the Build Back Better Act.
“For years, I have been committed to deal with drug prices,” Schrader said during his markup. “American citizens, regardless of their political connections, have made it certain that Congress has to act and get it done.”
The Oregon leader added that House committee should work on bipartisan solutions to the drug price problem. He also listed numerous provisions — including one that forces pharmaceutical companies to change prices for an international index — in this bill, which he reported would harm innovation.
In addition to creating the international index, the law also allows Medicare to negotiate prices with pharmaceutical companies and form a $2,000 limit on consumer costs for people who get Medicare, according to Politico.
“America will not succeed if Pelosi’s socialist controls are forced into the Democrat’s reckless spending spree bill,” Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers stated after the vote. “It would cause less innovation, less cures, and no hope for many America who want a fighting chance.”
Both President Biden and Pelosi have pushed for the passage of the bill in recent months.
“Why should we be spending two or three times what every other nation in the world is paying for a drug? There is so much we can do,” the president said during comments on August 12 at the White House.
Pelosi said the law took “bold action” to level the field for American citizens.
“Polling consistently reveals immense bipartisan support for drug price legislation, including majorities of GOPers and independents who are sick of Big Pharma charging Americans so much more than what they charge other countries,” Henry Connelly, a spokesperson for Pelosi, said in a comment Wednesday.
Author: Blake Ambrose