Durbin, Grassley, Brown, Merkley

The minibus appropriations bill (H.R. 6157)

Senator Durbin: (12:25 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the minibus appropriations bill.
    • "Have you heard of a drug pricing proposal that is supported by both Democratic and Republican senators? The American Association of Retired Persons, the American Medical Association, the Federation of American Hospitals, America's health insurance plans, 76% of the American people, President Trump, and the Department of Health and Human Services? What kind of kind of idea can this be that that is has that kind of bipartisan support in Congress as well as in the white house? Well, Senator Grassley and I have a simple amendment to the spending bill that is before us which provides $1 million for the Health and Human Services Department to issue rules regarding price tags on direct-to-consumer ads for prescription drugs."


Senator Grassley: (12:33 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the minibus appropriations bill.
    • "Remember maybe 40 years ago, I don't think it's 50 years ago, Congress passed legislation that you had to have a window sticker on cars of the cost of the cars so consumers wouldn't be - go back and forth between dealers. You can't go to a gas station without knowing what it costs. And then the - even the pharmaceutical companies themselves want to educate consumers with these ads, and I've always supported the advertising of - of these pharmaceutical drugs, but they want to - they want to educate you not only about the value of their drugs but down to the bottom and then half the ad usually tells you if you take this drug, what the side effects are going to do, maybe implying that it is even life dangerous."


Senator Brown: (12:41 p.m.)

  • Spoke on Republican economic policy.
    • "Every time Wall Street asks for something, Republican leadership, Senator McConnell's office down the hall, Speaker Ryan's office way down the hall and President Trump, they all want to do something for Wall Street. 25% greater profits than a year ago. Why does this Congress continue to do the bidding of Wall Street at the expense of Main Street? During the year and a half of President Trump, we've seen wages go down, we've seen profits go up, we've seen the stock market go up, we've seen executive compensation go way up, we've seen the banks do especially well, yet wages, literally since President Trump has taken office, wages have declined in this country."


Senator Merkley: (12:55 p.m.)

  • Spoke on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
    • "It escapes no one's vision here in the United States senate that even those documents were vetted by a Republican lawyer, a partisan lawyer, who proceeded to have worked beforehand for the nominee. That is not transparent, that is not fair, and that does not allow us to have the full scope of the record. And furthermore, and I'll say this just in a summary format, there is an enormous conflict of interest here in which the president is attempting to print a get out of jail free card, out of the 25 nominees put forward, a list given to him, one of them had an expansive view that said the president of the united States cannot be indicted and the president of the United States cannot be investigated. That is the standard that says a president is above and beyond the law."