Playing Politics With Drug Prices

On Wednesday, The Epoch Times reported on a bill in the Senate that was designed to lower drug prices.

The article reports:

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) blocked a bill that would lower prescription drug costs, arguing that a measure that addresses other health care issues would be better.

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) wanted a bill he co-sponsored with Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) to be passed unanimously on Nov. 13, but Schumer blocked the measure by objecting to Cornyn’s request for a unanimous vote.

Schumer said he didn’t oppose the bill’s substance, but accused Cornyn of playing a “little game” to try to get his bill passed when action on additional issues in health care was being blocked by Republicans, according to The Hill.

“We have a whole lot of legislative ideas, not just his,” Schumer said on the floor. “His party blocks everything that would have far larger consequence.”

Schumer said there were better legislative options than Cornyn’s bill, including one introduced by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).

Cornyn responded by saying Schumer’s blocking of the measure was “what people hate about Washington.”

“My bill is not going to sink the prospects of that larger package of legislation,” Cornyn said.

“I’m not going to agree to price-fixing by the U.S. government,” he added about another measure Schumer cited, which would let Medicare negotiate drug prices.

The bill is noncontroversial and bipartisan. There is no reason to block it other than politics.

The Question That Seems To Be Ignored

Fox News is reporting that late yesterday President Obama signed a bill that would send payments to the families of fallen soldiers during the government shutdown.

The article reports:

Carney claimed the bill was “not necessary,” noting that charity group The Fisher House Foundation had just entered into an agreement with the Pentagon a day earlier to provide the benefits in the short-term. 

“The legislation is not necessary,” Carney said, adding that the Defense Department had already agreed to reimburse the Fisher House. 

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, who pushed the bill in the Senate, blasted the White House over Carney’s remark. 

“Now, we’re learning the president has taken his political obstinacy to a new low and believes the legislation Congress has passed to right this wrong is ‘not necessary,'” he said in a written statement. “Not only is this legislation necessary it’s the moral obligation of this nation and it’s the spoken will of Congress that we deliver immediate assistance to the families of fallen service members.

There is a part of this story which has been widely ignored. The President agreed to reimburse Fisher House after the government reopens. The President does not have the Constitutional authority to do that–only the House of Representatives is allowed to incur a debt. Under the U.S. Constitution the President does not have the authority to promise to pay Fisher House back. Has anyone in Washington read the Constitution?

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Protecting The Property Rights Of Americans

The Blaze is reporting today that Senators John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) have introduced legislation to limit the government’s power of eminent domain, the seizure of private property without the owner’s consent. This is the link to the actual legislation introduced.

The law, The Protection of Homes, Small Businesses and Private Property Act of 2012, coincides with the seventh anniversary of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Kelo v. the City of New London, which allowed the City of New London to arbitrarily take private property from one person and give it to another with the intent of increasing the city’s tax base.

On December 1, 2009, I reported on the outcome of that property seizure (

So let’s look at where we are now.  The taking of the property was used to lure Pfizer Pharmaceutical Company to New London to build a research center.  Pfizer Pharmaceutical Company arrived, built its New London research center on the seized property, and this week announced that it was closing the plant.  Most of the plants 1,400 employees will be relocated to nearby Groton. 

Now the City of New London won’t even have the tax revenue from the people who once lived in that area of New London.  They will simply have a vacant research center.  Poetic justice at its best.

The Supreme Court made the wrong decision in Kelo–they seriously undermined the property rights of Americans. Please follow the link above to the article at The Blaze to read about recent misuses of eminent domain. Thank goodness for Senators like John Cornyn and Rand Paul who are willing to stand up for individual property rights.

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