Syndicated from post here.
Bernie Sanders fought hard for an amendment that would have lowered prices of pharmaceutical drugs, but thanks to a small group of Democrats, it failed.
In late night victory for PhRMA, Dems help GOP block Americans from buying cheaper FDA-approved medicine from Canada https://t.co/0WiklaSxTc
— David Sirota (@davidsirota) January 12, 2017
Incredible: Cory Booker & several other Dems join GOP maj in voting down Bernie amendment on importing cheaper drugs https://t.co/yb8N1PRYjp
— Lee Fang (@lhfang) January 12, 2017
Sen. Sanders was, believe it or not, also joined by several Senate Republicans in voting for the amendment, which would have established a fund specifically set up to import prescription drugs from Canada, where the drugs are far cheaper than what American customers normally have to pay. The amendment was originally proposed by Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota), though the conversation surrounding the high cost of prescription drugs has been embraced by high-profile Republicans, like President-elect Donald Trump.
The amendment failed by a narrow margin of 52 nays, 46 yeas, with two abstaining. The Republicans who voted for it were John Boozman (R-Arkansas), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Jeff Flake (R-Arizona), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Dean Heller (R-Nevada), John Neely Kennedy (R-Louisiana), Mike Lee (R-Utah), John McCain (R-Arizona), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), and John Thune (R-South Dakota).
However, thanks to “nay” votes from these 13 Democrats, drug prices will remain high:
Michael Bennet D-Colorado
Cory Booker D-New Jersey
Tom Carper D-Delaware
Maria Cantwell D-Washington
Bob Casey D-Pennsylvania
Chris Coons D-Delaware
Joe Donnelly D-Indiana
Martin Heinrich D-New Mexico
Heidi Heitkamp D-North Dakota
Bob Menendez D-New Jersey
Patty Murray D-Washington
Jon Tester D-Montana
Mark Warner D-Virginia
However, the likely reason for these Democrats’ vote with the Republican majority is due to the need to stengthen their campaign war chests ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Sen. Bennet’s 12th largest donor is the pharmaceutical industry, giving almost $400,000 to his campaigns throughout his career. Cory Booker, who is being propped up as a frontrunner for the 2020 presidential election, is also a favorite of the pharmaceutical industry, receiving roughly $385,000 from drugmakers during his short career in the senate.
Tom Cahill is a writer for US Uncut based in the Pacific Northwest. He specializes in coverage of political, economic and environmental news. You can contact him via email at email@example.com, or follow him on Facebook.
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