Pelosi: Cures bill ‘will pass’

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is predicting that the latest version of the 21st Century Cures bill would have enough votes to pass this year.

Pelosi said during a press conference on Wednesday that she would “build consensus” on a new version of the medical cures bill, which is expected to come up in a lame-duck session of Congress.

The bill passed almost unanimously in the House last summer but has stalled in the Senate over concerns on how to pay for a half-decade’s worth of new research spending, totaling roughly $9 billion.


The leader of the bill, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), has said he is planning to introduce a new version after the election. It would include different offsets for medical research than the initial version — a tweak that has rankled some Democrats. Some still hope the bill could include funding for Vice President Biden’s “cancer moonshot.”

Pelosi acknowledged that support for the latest bill is not “universal” among Democrats.

“Some people don’t have the same support for it, so we’re just going to have to build consensus,” Pelosi said at press briefing, when asked about the fate of the bill. “If leadership takes it up, I think it will pass.”

The legislation, which would speed the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of new drugs and give an infusion of new funding for medical research, is Upton’s signature bill.

Offsets used in the version of the bill that passed the House last year, which included selling oil from the strategic petroleum reserve, were used up in other legislation later in the year.