Last week we told you that Senate Democrats have revealed they will make one last try to pass a bill to lower prescription drug costs before Congress goes on its annual August recess. That effort starts this week when both houses of Congress return to Washington after their July 4th recess to begin a 4-week marathon to finish as much important legislation as they can prior to August 8, the scheduled beginning of that August recess.
Since President Biden’s plan to lower prescription drug prices was announced nearly a year ago the main problem has been a few members of his own party in the Senate – mainly Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, but also 1 or 2 others.
Because the Senate is evenly divided and no Republican will vote for Biden’s plan, every Democratic vote is needed and Manchin, until now apparently, has refused to agree to support the plan.
However, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has been working with Manchin to try and produce a bill Manchin can support.
According to reports, they have reached a tentative agreement on legislation to lower drug costs and extend the solvency of Social Security, but it is part of a larger bill that still is not finalized. That bill contains contentious details on energy spending and tax provisions that are still being negotiated, but Democrats hope to unveil deals on those this week.
The new bill is expected to raise about $1 trillion in revenue, half of which would be used on new spending and half on cutting the deficit over a 10-year period.