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What we're hearing: Where Cassidy can work with Bernie

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Sen. Bill Cassidy, set to be the top Republican on HELP next year, told Axios this week that he thinks he can work with incoming chairman Bernie Sanders on the issue of nursing shortages.

What he's saying: "He's mentioned, and I totally agree, that there's manpower shortage within health care," Cassidy said. "The nursing shortage we're all aware of. So that would be something that I think we would work on together."

Between the lines: That would be an interesting partnership — especially if it means Sanders can persuade Cassidy to boost federal funding. Sanders has touted proposals to increase funding for nursing education to address the shortage of nurses.

  • Cassidy's not going there yet. Asked about more funding, he said he wants to identify the precise problem "before saying 'Oh yeah, let's throw money at it,'" but said funding would be a "point of engagement."
  • "Obviously he's the chair," Cassidy noted.
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