Lawmakers Aim To Modernize Nation’s Medical Supply Chain
A group of bipartisan lawmakers unveil a package of six bills to improve gaps in the medical supply chain revealed during the pandemic. In other COVID news from Capitol Hill, Americans weigh in on who is to blame for the failure to pass another round of stimulus.
Bipartisan Lawmakers Call For Overhauling Medical Supply Chains
The U.S. needs to review and overhaul its medical supply chains amid the pandemic, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle said Tuesday. Speaking at The Hill's "America's Agenda: COVID-19 & A Responsive Rx Supply Chain" event, Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.) said the U.S. needs "a soup-to-nuts look and identification of the very specific supply chains with national security importance.” (Bautista, 10/27)
Slightly More Voters Blame Trump, GOP For Lack Of Stimulus Deal, Survey Finds
Voters blame President Trump and congressional Republicans slightly more than their Democratic counterparts over the inability of Washington to reach a deal on a coronavirus relief package before Election Day, according to a new survey. In the Morning Consult poll released Wednesday, 45 percent of voters said they chiefly blame Trump and Republicans in Congress for the stimulus impasse, while 40 percent said they blame congressional Democrats. Fifteen percent said they were unsure or had no opinion. (Bowden, 10/28)
In other news from Capitol Hill —
Hospitals' Staunchest Ally In Congress Could Take Control Of The Senate
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has been hospitals' fiercest advocate in Congress and may soon rise to one of the most powerful perches in Washington, which could have important implications for healthcare policy. "If I were a hospital leader right now, I would be dancing for joy at the prospect of Schumer becoming the majority leader," a healthcare lobbyist said. (Cohrs, 10/28)
In Key Race, Democrats Paint The Incumbent As 'Pharma's Favorite Senator'
Even in an election year dominated by a deadly pandemic and President Trump’s chaotic first term, Democrats in North Carolina are talking, unceasingly, about drug prices. In a brutal series of attack ads, Democrats have painted incumbent Sen. Thom Tillis, a Republican, as a pro-pharma shill, even calling him “pharma’s favorite senator.” (Facher, 10/28)
Hoyer Lays Out Ambitious Democratic Agenda For 2021, With Health Care At Top
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) on Tuesday outlined a broad and ambitious legislative agenda for 2021, predicting Democrats will have unified power to move the party's priorities on issues as varied as health care, infrastructure, climate change and gun reform. "I think we're going to deal with all of those — and more," he said on a call with reporters. (Lillis, 10/27)
The Washington Post:
McConnell Insists His Health Is ‘Just Fine,’ Declines To Explain Photos Showing Bruised Hands
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) declared his health is “just fine” Tuesday as he declined to explain photographs last week showing his hands bruised and bandaged. The 78-year-old dismissed the issue as a media fixation, despite his own history of health issues related to his heart and a serious fall last year that left him out of the public eye for five weeks. “I can just tell you that I’m just fine. And I can’t believe y’all have played with that all week long,” McConnell said in a telephone interview as he traveled back to Kentucky for the final week of a reelection campaign in which he is asking voters for a seventh, six-year term. (Kane, 10/27)