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House PAHPA bill advances in bitter markup

Jul 13, 2023
Congressman Frank Pallone at a committee hearing

Pallone at a March Energy and Commerce hearing. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

The Energy and Commerce health subcommittee advanced a skinny PAHPA reauthorization to the full committee along party lines during Thursday’s markup.

Why it matters: Committee members say they’re still hoping to work together to create a bipartisan package, but neither side will budge on the boundaries they set out a month ago — and the finger-pointing is escalating.

What they’re saying: Ranking member Frank Pallone accused committee Republicans on Thursday of letting lawmakers on the far right of the conference dictate PAHPA policy.

  • Pallone argued that their influence over the Republican Party is keeping GOP committee members from expanding FDA’s authority to tackle drug shortages in PAHPA.
  • “I don’t think it’s because you personally think it’s a bad idea — you haven’t said that,” Pallone said.

The other side: “Right now, the problem is the Democrats playing games, acting like extremists. But I think they'll come to the table. We’ll get there,” Rep. Richard Hudson, GOP House lead on PAHPA reauthorization, told Axios in the hallway.

Zoom out: Rep. Anna Eshoo, Democrats’ legislative lead on the bill, also said the GOP bill underfunds pandemic preparedness programs and doesn't incorporate any lessons from Operation Warp Speed.

  • Hudson said Eshoo expressed some “legitimate concerns” and insisted he remains open to working on the policy.
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