Feb 5, 2018

The push to make drug prices a campaign issue

Democratic lawmkers hold a press conference regarding drug prices last year. Photo: Bill Clark / CQ Roll Call

Some Democratic-leaning advocates are working hard to keep drug pricing at the center of the political debate as we head toward this year’s midterms — and it may not be that hard of a sell.

The latest: New polling data from the advocacy group Patients For Affordable Drugs shows widespread support for more action on drug pricing — a popular campaign promise of President Trump’s, but one that hasn’t gotten a ton of traction yet in Washington.

  • 75% of those surveyed said Congress and Trump “need to do more” on drug prices; just under 10% said they’ve done enough.
  • Voters were split about evenly as to whether drug prices should be “a top priority” or “an important priority,” but few placed it any lower than that.

The big picture: This polling was done to help build support for the CREATES Act, a bill designed to make it easier for would-be generic competitors to obtain samples of brand-name drugs to use in their own development process. The bill has bipartisan support in the Senate, and backing from a bipartisan array of outside interest groups, too.

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Trump says he will campaign against Lisa Murkowski after her support for Mattis

Trump with Barr and Meadows outside St. John's Episcopal church in Washington, D.C. on June 1. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump tweeted on Thursday that he would endorse "any candidate" with a pulse who runs against Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

Driving the news: Murkowski said on Thursday that she supported former defense secretary James Mattis' condemnation of Trump over his response to protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing. She described Mattis' statement as "true, honest, necessary and overdue," Politico's Andrew Desiderio reports.

5 hours ago - World

The president vs. the Pentagon

Trump visits Mattis and the Pentagon in 2018. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

Over the course of just a few hours, President Trump was rebuffed by the Secretary of Defense over his call for troops in the streets and accused by James Mattis, his former Pentagon chief, of trampling the Constitution for political gain.

Why it matters: Current and former leaders of the U.S. military are drawing a line over Trump's demand for a militarized response to the protests and unrest that have swept the country over the killing of George Floyd by police.

New York Times says Tom Cotton op-ed did not meet standards

Photo: Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A New York Times spokesperson said in a statement Thursday that the paper will be changing its editorial board processes after a Wednesday op-ed by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), which called for President Trump to "send in the troops" in order to quell violent protests, failed to meet its standards.

Why it matters: The shift comes after Times employees began a coordinated movement on social media on Wednesday and Thursday that argued that publishing the op-ed put black staff in danger. Cotton wrote that Trump should invoke the Insurrection Act in order to deploy the U.S. military against rioters that have overwhelmed police forces in cities across the country.