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Trump calls for bipartisan bill to 'dramatically' lower drug prices

Trump calls for bipartisan bill to 'dramatically' lower drug prices
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President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden to sign executive order aimed at increasing voting access Albany Times Union editorial board calls for Cuomo's resignation Advocates warn restrictive voting bills could end Georgia's record turnout MORE on Tuesday called on Congress to pass bipartisan legislation to “dramatically” lower the cost of prescription drugs. 

“I am calling for bipartisan legislation that achieves the goal of dramatically lowering prescription drug prices,” Trump said in his State of the Union address. “Get a bill to my desk, and I will sign it into law without delay.”

Lowering drug prices is seen as a rare area of possible bipartisan action. But the effort has been stalled by partisan disagreements and a range of competing bills. 

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Trump in his speech did not explicitly endorse a specific approach, but he did give a nod to Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyWhite House open to reforming war powers amid bipartisan push Garland's AG nomination delayed by GOP roadblocks National Sheriffs' Association backs Biden pick for key DOJ role MORE (R-Iowa), who has a bipartisan bill to lower drug prices with Sen. Ron WydenRonald (Ron) Lee WydenSenate approves sweeping coronavirus measure in partisan vote Senate inches toward COVID-19 vote after marathon session Senate Democrats vote to provide 0 unemployment benefits into September MORE (D-Ore.). 

“I have been speaking to Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and others in the Congress in order to get something on drug pricing done, and done quickly and properly,” Trump said. 

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiTrump White House associate tied to Proud Boys before riot via cell phone data Greene sounds off on GOP after Hill story 'Bloody Sunday' to be commemorated for first time without John Lewis MORE (D-Calif.) and House Democrats, though, are pushing for bolder action to lower drug prices, namely a bill that the House passed in December to allow the government to negotiate lower prices. 

Some House Democrats chanted the number for that bill, H.R. 3, at Trump after his remarks. 

Trump supported government negotiation during the 2016 campaign, saying he would “negotiate like crazy,” but has since backed off that pledge, drawing ire from Democrats.

“‘Negotiate like crazy’ must mean ‘not negotiate at all,’” Pelosi said earlier Tuesday.

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Even the Grassley-Wyden bill, which does not include negotiation, but does limit some drug price increases in Medicare, has drawn fire from many Senate Republicans who label it “price controls.”

Grassley is banking on Trump’s support to get it moving. 

“The Senate must act soon and the House should be ready to work with the Senate to get this legislation to the president’s desk in the months ahead,” Grassley said in a statement after Trump’s remarks. 

Trump did not mention any executive action on drug prices, despite fears from drug companies leading up to the speech. Trump has proposed lowering some Medicare drug prices by linking prices to those in other countries, but he did not mention whether he would move forward on that proposal in the speech.