Grassley hopes to meet with Pelosi about Rx bill

WASHINGTON — Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says having President Trump tout his prescription drug bill during the State of the Union speech last Tuesday has been a boost.

Now, Grassley’s hoping to meet with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and this is his message: “Maybe things between the White House and Pelosi are not lovable right now, but if you feel like you want to do something on prescription drugs, I’d like to negotiate with you.”

Grassley, a Republican, and the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee have been working on legislation that would limit prescription drug price hikes to the rate of inflation. The bill would lower out-of-pocket costs for seniors on Medicare, too.

“It’s the only bipartisan bill that can get 60 votes in the United States Senate,” Grassley says.

Bills need just 51 votes to pass the senate, but at least 60 senators must agree to allow debate. Grassley says he’s telling his Republican colleagues in the Senate the polls show voters consider prescription drug costs a top

“We’ve got 23 Republicans up for re-election and it’s an issue in every state and it’s an issue nationally,” Grassley says, “so I’ve got the only game in town that you can run on a platform that you’re really going to do something about prescription drugs.”

A dozen Republicans have signed on as co-sponsors of Grassley’s bill. A spokesman for Iowa Republican Senator Joni Ernst says Ernst supports efforts to reign in prescription drug costs and is reviewing the details in Grassley’s proposal.