Vitter uses drug bill to push ObamaCare fight

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) set up the process for procedural votes next week on a compound drug bill.

H.R. 3204, the Drug Quality and Security Act, would require manufacturers of compounded drugs to better report outsourcing facilities and incentivize direct supervision of a licensed pharmacist in a registered outsourcing facility to ensure safety requirements are met.

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Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) introduced the bill after several states had cases of infections from faulty compounded drugs.

The bill — which passed in the House by voice-vote in September — would also prohibit the resale of a compounded drug labeled “not for resale,” or the intentional falsification of a prescription for a compounded drug. 

The bill should be noncontroversial, but Reid had to file cloture on a motion to proceed — that vote will occur Tuesday evening.

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) said Thursday that he would try to force an amendment vote on his bill targeting ObamaCare.

Vitter has criticized an administrative decision to allow Congress members to exempt some of their staff from enrolling in the ObamaCare health exchange. He also opposes the decision to give congressional staffers enrolled in the exchange an employer contribution.

Vitter said he wanted an up-or-down vote on his Show Your Exemption Act, which forces members of Congress to disclose which of their staff they have exempted from enrolling in the healthcare exchange.

“Shouldn’t the public have a right to know? That is why I filed this bill, and that is why I am pushing for a vote on this bill,” Vitter said on the floor Thursday. “Getting a vote on that proposal will be a key priority of mine, particularly when we consider the drug compounding bill in the near future.”

Vitter said if he didn’t get a vote on his bill as an amendment to H.R. 3204, he would push again when the Senate considers the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) later this month.

“Whatever you think about the underlying issue, whatever you think about ObamaCare, shouldn’t this decision of each individual Member be made public,” Vitter asked.

Vitter’s insistence on another measure he called the No Washington Exemption Act, caused Reid to pull an energy efficiently bill from the floor earlier this year. Vitter has argued that no congressional staffers of members of the administration should be exempt from entering the ObamaCare health exchange.

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