Show an ad over header. AMP

I am the FIRST

House Democrats attack GOP over drug pricing bill many in their own caucus oppose

House Democrats are following the money in a series of new ads hitting Republican opponents of major drug price legislation — but the trail also leads back to their own members.

What's happening: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is accusing House Republicans of doing the bidding of drug industry donors by opposing the bill. Unremarked upon are the House Democrats who've also received money from the industry — and whose opposition is seen as potentially fatal to the legislation.


The big picture: The DCCC leveled the allegations in a new round of digital ads unveiled Tuesday. They take Republicans to task for opposing a bill that would effectively cap drug prices.

  • The campaign is a response to recent ads by the GOP-aligned American Action Network hitting Democrats for supporting the legislation. The group has received funding from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the drug industry's largest trade group.
  • The DCCC pegged the line of attack to a recent report from the House Oversight Committee, which found the company AbbVie dramatically raised prices for a number of drugs while it hiked executive pay. AbbVie is also a high-dollar contributor to PhRMA.
  • "Unlike Republicans," the DCCC declared in a news release on its ads, "House Democrats aren’t going to bow down to Big Pharma and will continue fighting to lower the costs of prescription drugs."

Between the lines: The Democrats are not quite as united as that statement makes it sound. Ten members recently sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) expressing concerns about the drug pricing legislation as written.

  • Democrats currently have an eight-seat majority in the House, meaning 10 defections could doom the legislation.
  • Of those 10 members, seven got contributions last cycle from PhRMA, according to Federal Election Commission records. Six received donations from AbbVie's political action committee.
  • The DCCC did not respond to requests for comment about those donations in the context of its new ads.

Be smart: The pharmaceutical industry's D.C. presence is massive, and it gives handily to legislators of both parties.

  • That provides Democrats and Republicans with plenty of opportunities to knock the other side for cronyism.
  • It also can leave colleagues vulnerable to friendly fire.

Why the startup world needs to ditch "unicorns" for "dragons"

When Aileen Lee originally coined the term "unicorn" in late 2013, she was describing the 39 "U.S.-based software companies started since 2003 and valued at over $1 billion by public or private market investors."

Flashback: It got redefined in early 2015 by yours truly and Erin Griffith, in a cover story for Fortune, as any privately-held startup valued at $1 billion or more. At the time, we counted 80 of them.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Facebook's new moves to lower News Feed's political volume

Facebook plans to announce that it will de-emphasize political posts and current events content in the News Feed based on negative user feedback, Axios has learned. It also plans to expand tests to limit the amount of political content that people see in their News Feeds to more countries outside of the U.S.

Why it matters: The changes could reduce traffic to some news publishers, particularly companies that post a lot of political content.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Amazon quietly getting into live audio business

Amazon is investing heavily in a new live audio feature that's similar to other live audio offerings like Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces and Spotify's new live audio platform, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: As with Amazon's efforts in podcasting and music subscriptions, the company sees live audio as a way to bolster the types of content it can offer through its voice assistant, Alexa, and its smart speaker products.

Keep reading... Show less

Hurricane Ida exposes America's precarious energy infrastructure

The powerful hurricane that plunged New Orleans into darkness for what could be weeks is the latest sign that U.S. power systems are not ready for a warmer, more volatile world.

The big picture: “Our current infrastructure is not adequate when it comes to these kinds of weather extremes,” Joshua Rhodes, a University of Texas energy expert, tells Axios.

Keep reading... Show less

"We must go further": 70% of adults in European Union are fully vaccinated

About 70% of adults in the European Union are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said Tuesday.

Why it matters: The milestone makes the E.U. one of the world's leaders in inoculations, after an initially lagging vaccine campaign, the New York Times notes.

Keep reading... Show less

What Elizabeth Holmes jurors will be asked ahead of fraud trial

Jury selection begins today in USA v. Elizabeth Holmes, with the actual jury trial to get underway on Sept. 8.

Why it matters: Theranos was the biggest fraud in Silicon Valley history, putting both hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of patients' health at risk.

Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories