As President Donald Trump goes to Capitol Hill tonight for his first address to a Joint Session of Congress, both parties fully expect him to again sound the call for action on a repeal of the Obama health law, though GOP lawmakers in Congress admit they still don’t have an internal agreement on how best to replace the Obama health law.
Back from a ten day break, the U.S. Senate on Monday evening easily approved President Donald Trump’s nominee for Commerce Secretary, but Democrats again made clear they would not allow swift action on several other Trump Cabinet nominees, as Republicans again protested the extended delays.
The accounting firm responsible for tallying Oscar votes and keeping up with envelopes containing the winners has apologized for the Best Picture gaffe at the end of Sunday’s Academy Awards, but President Donald Trump believes the mix-up was actually about him.
Proving once again that lawmakers are capable of bipartisan agreement, the Senate voted 94-5 on Wednesday to send President Obama a $6.3 billion plan that authorizes new government work on medical innovation, extra efforts on mental health, and helps states battle opiod drug addiction problems across the U.S.
“The Senate just passed the most important bill of the year,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN).
BREAKING: Congress OKs bill speeding federal drug approvals, mapping $6.3 billion for biomedical research, battling drug addiction.
“This will make a real difference for patients and families across the country, now and years into the future,” said Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA).
The plan would direct an extra $4.8 billion in medical research money to the National Institutes of Health, and also fund new work by the Food and Drug Administration.
Other provisions include resources to fight opiod addition, and new efforts by the feds on mental health matters.
“This historic vote is one of the rare moments in Congress where members can say with confidence their vote to pass these reforms will indeed save lives,” said Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), who was able to include new provisions on mental health in the bill.
Murphy and others had fought for years to get the Congress to do more about coordinating federal and state work on mental health.
Jamie Dupree is the Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau of the Cox Media Group and writes the Washington Insider blog.
A native of Washington, D.C., Jamie has covered Congress and politics in the nation’s capital since the Reagan Administration, and has been reporting for Cox since 1989.