Fox on the HillOctober 10, 2016 – Newsletters
Following the first two presidential debates, Donald Trump has taken a dramatic plunge in swing-state polls. Nationally, polls show Hillary Clinton leading Trump by about 11 points, 46 percent to 35 percent. Part of Trump’s downfall is attributed to his comments toward a former Miss Universe and the “hot mic” conversation with Billy Bush that has highlighted his rhetoric toward women and minorities. The movement in the polls has raised concern among Republican down-ticket races. The change in the numbers has many wondering if the Senate will remain in control of the Republicans.
Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) has said that if Donald Trump were to win the White House and the Republicans maintain control of Congress, then the GOP will pass a partisan agenda including repealing Obamacare and sweeping tax-cuts. To ensure successful passage, Republicans will use budget reconciliation — a procedural tool that limits debate to 20 hours and allows for passage of a law by simple majority vote — bypassing the opportunity for a filibuster. This same procedural tool was used by the Democrats to pass the Affordable Care Act and by Republicans in 2001 and 2003 to pass Bush’s trillion-dollar tax cuts.
Even though the results of the 2016 election are not yet determined, members on both sides of the aisle are already saying the results are faulty due to cyberattacks. The awareness the ongoing cyberattacks has raised concern that these cyber hackers will tamper with the ballots in the election. To date, 25 states have accepted federal assistance from the Department of Homeland Security to help safeguard against ballot-tampering from cyber hackers. Arizona and Illinois have already experienced cyberattacks on their voter rolls and an additional 20 states have had their public rolls probed for weak areas.
The cost of prescription drugs is a continued point of debate among lawmakers and the drug companies. Next year, Congress will consider reauthorization of two laws — the Children’s Health Insurance Program and the Prescription Drug User Fee Act, which allows the Food and Drug Administration to collect fees from drug manufacturers to fund the new drug approval process. Although neither of these laws provides an automatic engagement for sweeping reforms, they do present opportunities for reform on a smaller scale.
Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) have introduced a piece of legislation that would direct the Federal Trade Commission to pursue cases against drug companies that pay other companies to delay the release of a generic competition of a brand name drug product.