Overnight Healthcare: Dems boycott confirmation vote for HHS pick | Trump warns drugmakers on prices

Overnight Healthcare: Dems boycott confirmation vote for HHS pick | Trump warns drugmakers on prices
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Senate Democrats on Tuesday refused to attend a committee vote on two of President Trump's more controversial nominees, effectively delaying their consideration.

Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee boycotted votes to advance Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), Trump's pick to head the Department of Health and Human Services, and Steven Mnuchin, his selection to head the Treasury Department. The pair had been among some of the more contentious selections to join Trump's Cabinet.

Republicans expressed outrage at the move, while Democrats gathered outside the Senate Finance Committee hearing room to outline their gripes with the selections.

"I can't understand why senators, who know we're going to have these two people go through, can't support the committee," said Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah).

"I'm very disappointed in this kind of crap. ... Some of this is because they just don't like the president."

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White House blasts 'outrageous' Dem boycott

The White House on Tuesday blasted Senate Democrats for delaying a confirmation votes on two of President Trump's controversial nominees by refusing to attend committee votes.

Press secretary Sean Spicer called the move an "outrageous" example of partisan obstruction.


"The idea that these highly qualified nominees .. are being stalled because Democrats are boycotting the committee vote is outrageous," he told reporters. "The mere idea that they are not even showing up for these meetings is outrageous."

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Trump tells drug companies to 'get prices down'

President Trump on Tuesday told a group of drug company executives gathered for a meeting at the White House that they need to "get prices down."

"You folks have done a tremendous job but we have to get prices down," Trump said, according to a pool report.

Trump has been a critic of high drug prices, and has endorsed measures like allowing Medicare to negotiate prices.

But the president also called for reducing regulations to allow for faster approvals of new drugs and to allow drug companies to bring jobs back to the U.S.

We're going to be cutting regulation at a level nobody's ever seen before," Trump said in the meeting with executives.

"You can't get approval for the plant and then you can't get approval to make the drug, other than that you're doing fantastic," he said.

Read more here: http://bit.ly/2kM44Ua


GOP group launches $1.3M campaign targeting Trump-country Dems on ObamaCare

A political organization aligned with House GOP leaders unveiled a $1.3 million ad campaign on Tuesday that targets Democrats representing districts won by President Trump and urges them to help repeal and replace ObamaCare.

American Action Network's campaign includes local ads in a total of 24 districts, as well as national TV ads on CNN and MSNBC. The ads focus on eight Democrats in Trump-country districts and 16 Republicans mostly representing swing seats.

The group's advertising campaign in support of repealing the healthcare law will total $5.2 million for the month of January.

American Action Network previously launched another ad campaign last week, costing $2.6 million, that thanked Republican lawmakers for trying to unwind the law.

But the latest round of ads specifically goes after eight of the 12 House Democrats in Trump districts: Dave Loebsack (Iowa), Cheri BustosCheryl (Cheri) Lea BustosThe Hill's Campaign Report: Biden asks if public can trust vaccine from Trump ahead of Election Day | Oklahoma health officials raised red flags before Trump rally DCCC dropping million on voter education program Clark rolls out endorsements in assistant Speaker race MORE (Ill.), Tim Walz (Minn.), Collin Peterson (Minn.), Rick Nolan (Minn.), Jacky Rosen (Nev.), Matt Cartwright (Pa.) and Ron KindRonald (Ron) James KindWisconsin Rep. Ron Kind wins primary Democrats exit briefing saying they fear elections under foreign threat Bottom line MORE (Wis.).

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What we're reading:

'Heartbreaking' - ObamaCare phone counselor talks about the calls coming in (The Huffington Post)

Trump's criticism of imports adds to drugmakers' headaches (Wall Street Journal)

In accidental 'reply all' to reporter, GOP lawmaker thanks CEO for defending HHS nominee (CNN)


State by state:

Kasich keeps Medicaid expansion in Ohio budget proposal (Columbus Dispatch)

Connecticut governor proposes tax cut for insurance industry (Hartford Courant)