Latest News

Guthrie: Democrats Playing Partisan Games at Expense of American Health Care

Washington, May 16, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Brett Guthrie (KY-02) today spoke on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives about the need for lower prescription drug prices.

“Wherever I go in my district, I hear from Kentuckians about how drug prices are simply too high,” said Guthrie on the floor. “This is an issue that affects everyone, and it’s one of the few big issues these days that Republicans and Democrats can all agree on. President Trump has made lowering drug prices a top priority.”

Guthrie has been dedicated to solving the skyrocketing prescription drug prices through his work in the Energy and Commerce Committee. Last month, the committee reached bipartisan support on three drug pricing bills: the CREATES Act (H.R. 965), the Protecting Consumer Access to Generic Drugs Act (H.R. 1499), and the Bringing Low-cost Options and Competition while Keeping Incentives for New Generics (BLOCKING) Act (H.R. 938).

However, in developing a final package of bills to lower drug prices, Democrats added provisions to the final bill to expand Obamacare, knowing that Republicans such as Guthrie could not support it.

“Sadly, Democrats have loaded up what was previously bipartisan drug pricing legislation with political landmines that they know— we as Republicans will never be able to support,” said Guthrie, speaking in opposition to the final bill. “They have made a bipartisan drug pricing bill into an Obamacare bailout bill… My colleagues are playing games to score cheap political points in the short term, at the expense of Americans across the country who are paying too much at the pharmacy counter.”

See below for the full text of Congressman Guthrie’s speech as prepared for delivery.

“I rise today in opposition to H.R. 987, the supposed ‘Strengthening Health Care and Lowering Prescription Drug Costs Act.’

“I wish I were not giving this speech. As many of my colleagues know, I have a bipartisan track record here in the House. I have been proud to work with many of my Democratic colleagues on a number of issues that impact Kentuckians and people across the country – such as Alzheimer’s, the opioid crisis, and workforce development.

“Last Congress, I had ten bipartisan bills signed into law, and I had two additional bipartisan bills pass the House. I hope my colleagues on both sides of the aisle know that I take bipartisanship, and our responsibility to get things done for our constituents, very seriously.

“That is why I’m extremely disappointed that I will have to vote against H.R. 987 today. Wherever I go in my district, I hear from Kentuckians about how drug prices are simply too high. This is an issue that affects everyone, and it’s one of the few big issues these days that Republicans and Democrats can all agree on. President Trump has made lowering drug prices a top priority.

“As ranking member of the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, I have launched with Chair Diana DeGette an investigation on rising insulin prices.  I was proud to support bipartisan legislation in the Health Subcommittee and the full Energy and Commerce Committee.

“Sadly, Democrats have loaded up what was previously bipartisan drug pricing legislation with political landmines that they know— we as Republicans will never be able to support. They have made a bipartisan drug pricing bill into an Obamacare bailout bill. They know that this bill is dead on arrival in the Senate and that President Trump will never sign it into law. My colleagues are playing games to score cheap political points in the short term, at the expense of Americans across the country who are paying too much at the pharmacy counter.

“Most of what happens in Congress is done on a bipartisan basis – you just don’t see it in the news because cable TV prefers to cover partisan bickering. I urge my colleagues on the Democratic side not to make lowering drug prices just another partisan fight. I am willing to work with any of my colleagues to fix this problem. I urge my colleagues to do the same.”

 

###