Pro-GOP group takes aim at House Dems over Pelosi's 'socialist drug takeover plan'

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EXCLUSIVE – A conservative advocacy group that backs Republican causes is going up in over 40 congressional districts controlled by House Democrats with a major ad blitz targeting a bill that aims to regulate and lower prescription drug prices, describing the plan as “Nancy Pelosi’s socialist drug takeover plan.”

The American Action Network on Thursday is unveiling a new issue advocacy campaign in 43 House districts to stop what it calls the House speaker’s “dangerous plan,” which the group argues could mean fewer cures for life-threatening diseases and less access to breakthrough new treatments, like the COVID-19 vaccines.

American Action Network says it will spend more than $4 million to run the commercials, which were shared first with Fox News, on TV in 12 districts. Digital ads will go up in 31 other districts, and the group says it plans to make calls across all 43 districts.

“What’s a life worth? Who gets to decide? Nancy Pelosi thinks the government does,” the announcer in the spot says.

The announcer charges that “under Pelosi’s socialist drug takeover plan, Washington controls the prescription drug market. That means fewer breakthrough cures and less innovation, like the COVID vaccine. With Washington in charge, maybe the life-saving medicine you need still gets made. Or maybe it doesn’t.”

The announce then urges viewers to call the House Democrat in their district and urge the lawmaker “to stop Pelosi’s socialist drug takeover plan.”

House Democrats in December 2019 passed H.R. 3, which was known as the “Lower Drug Costs Now Act.”

Aiming to lower skyrocketing prescription drug prices, the bill would give Medicare the power to negotiate directly with the drug companies. It would also make the lower drug prices negotiated by Medicare available to Americans with private insurance, not just Medicare beneficiaries. Democrats said their measure, which was opposed by Republicans and the pharmaceutical industry, would also “stop drug companies ripping off Americans while charging other countries less for the same drugs.”

The bill died in the Senate, which was controlled by the GOP at the time. But Democrats campaigned on the issue during the 2020 elections.

Last week, President Biden urged Congress to include major elements of the bill in his massive jobs and infrastructure proposal that he’s trying to pass through the House and Senate. House Democrats are beginning the process of assembling the overall package.

American Action Network President Dan Conston noted that “breakthrough American innovation is giving us the tools to end this pandemic and get our lives back to normal.”

But he said that “nevertheless, Pelosi is pushing a socialist takeover of the prescription drug industry that will reduce access to lifesaving medications, cancel new cures for the patients who need them and send American innovation overseas.”

Pointing to a GOP-authored alternative that’s being showcased as bipartisan, Conston urged that “liberals in Congress should abandon this radical plan and take up bipartisan reforms like H.R. 19 that will reduce the cost of prescriptions without threatening access to the medicine patients need.”

The TV ads will run in the districts of 12 House Democrats who could potentially face difficult reelections next year, when their party hopes to hold its razor-thin majority in the chamber.


The lawmakers are Reps. Carolyn Bourdeaux (GA-07), Cindy Axne (IA-03), Elissa Slotkin (MI-08), Angie Craig (MN-02), Andy Kim (NJ-03), Tom Malinowski (NJ-07), Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18), Peter DeFazio (OR-04), Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07), Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15), Abigail Spanberger (VA-07) and Kim Schrier (WA-08).

The GOP controlled the House for eight years before losing the majority in the chamber in the 2018 midterms amid a wave by congressional Democrats. But Republicans defied expectations and took a big bite out of the Democrats’ majority in November’s elections and only need to flip five seats in 2022 to regain control of the chamber.

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