Because of my Administration, drug prices are down for the first time in almost 50 years — but the American people need Congress to help. I like Sen. Grassley’s drug pricing bill very much, and it’s great to see Speaker Pelosi’s bill today. Let’s get it done in a bipartisan way!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 19, 2019
Trump’s comments on Pelosi’s measure come in stark contrast to those of congressional Republicans, who have denounced the bill as “socialism.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told Politico that he would not bring it up for a vote in the Senate.
Grassley is pushing his measure as a more moderate, bipartisan approach to Pelosi’s that Republicans should support.
But even that bill is opposed by many Senate Republicans who object to a provision that would limit price increases for drugs in Medicare, calling it a “price control.”
McConnell has not said if he will bring up Grassley’s legislation.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar met with Democratic lawmakers on Thursday to push for a bipartisan agreement on lowering drug prices. Azar did not give an opinion on Pelosi’s bill, saying he had just started to read it, according to lawmakers in the room.
Much of the discussion centered on the Grassley-Wyden proposal, and Wyden, who was in attendance, walked through some of the details of the bill.
“The overall message was ‘Hey for us to be realistic, to make any progress on reducing the price burden that all our constituents are facing, it’s got to be bipartisan,” said Rep. Ron Kind (Wis.), a centrist Democrat, leaving the meeting with Azar. “And of course Ron and Chuck have been working hard on that.”