Scalise: Pelosi Must Stop Playing Partisan Games with Drug Pricing

September 19, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) joined Leader Kevin McCarthy, Conference Chair Liz Cheney, and Energy & Commerce Committee Republican Leader Greg Walden to strongly criticize Speaker Pelosi's decision to ignore the Energy & Commerce Committee's unanimously bipartisan drug pricing bills and instead bring a partisan, socialist drug pricing bill to the House floor.

Click here or on the image above to view his remarks. 

Full remarks: 

“I am incredibly disappointed in Speaker Pelosi’s socialist, partisan approach to the good work that was being done to lower drug prices. This Congress came together over the summer and joined to pass legislation that would actually lower drug prices — bills that would bring generics to the market quicker, and help the Medicaid program, in fact, improve the way it can deliver medicine.

“And instead of bringing those bipartisan bills to the floor, in fact bills that passed unanimously out of the Energy and Commerce Committee, which our Republican Leader Greg Walden will talk more about, but if she was serious about lowering drug prices, she would have built upon the work that was already done between Republicans and Democrats, unanimously bringing a bill out of committee that was focused exclusively on lowering drug prices. And instead, she’s taking a socialist approach that will actually make it harder to get drugs to market.

“If you look at how America’s been so great at innovating, especially when it comes to coming up with life-saving drugs, this Congress came together when Barack Obama was president to pass the 21st Century Cures Act — legislation that will actually lead to life-saving cures for big diseases like cancer, like Alzheimers, like ALS, and so many other diseases that are waiting to be cured. We as a Congress came together and passed that working with Republicans and Democrats. That’s the only way you’re going to make law. 

"To sit in some little secret star chamber, and come up with a bill that nobody can read, and say that that’s the partisan approach that Congress is going to take instead of bringing bills to the floor that passed unanimously out of committee, the committee of jurisdiction, where Republicans and Democrats in a very thoughtful way came together and said, 'We can lower drug prices and Congress can get it done.' Except Nancy Pelosi chose to stand in the way. And shelve that bill in lieu of a socialist approach that would be the government getting in the business of setting prices for drugs — something that would send ripple effects throughout all of the medical industry, and those people that would be able to develop the next life-saving drug will now be shelved and sidelines because of that approach. 

“And so, I would encourage Speaker Pelosi to stop playing partisan games with drug pricing, and instead join with the Republicans and Democrats who already came together in a unanimous way to bring bills to the floor that can actually lower drug prices now. And things that can actually get signed by President Trump. She knows the bill that she’s going to bring forward that doesn’t even exist yet, based on what she’s talking about, is something that would not get signed into law. So work with Republicans and Democrats who have already been doing this for months, and focus on serious solutions to this serious problem.”

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