McConnell Threatens to Withdraw Support for Bipartisan Semiconductor Bill

*If Dems continue a reconciliation package that would support lowering prescription costs

After the Build Back Better efforts were killed by Joe Manchin back in December, Democrats have been hammering away at a new bill that would include a plan to lower prescription drug costs.

Because the bill would be passed through the budget reconciliation process, it could not be filibustered, and therefore does not need any GOP votes.

Democrats are preparing to submit a revised proposal to lower prescription drug prices to the Senate parliamentarian in the coming days, which they hope to include in a larger reconciliation package. 

Meanwhile, both parties from both chambers have been working on the “United States Innovation and Competition Act” (USICA) — a bill to support American competitiveness and counter China by addressing the domestic shortage of semiconductors. Since April a committee has been working to combine all efforts into a bill that most agree would pass before mid-term elections.

On Thursday, GOP Senate Minority Leader McConnell said he is prepared to throw away a year’s worth of work, derailing a bill his own party takes seriously, unless Democrats abandon their budget reconciliation bill.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre released a statement:

The Republican Senate leader is holding hostage a bipartisan package to strengthen American competitiveness versus China, that would yield hundreds of thousands of manufacturing jobs in places like Southern Ohio, Idaho, and other states around the country.  It would lower the cost of countless products, and end our reliance on imports.  Why? To protect the ability of big pharmaceutical companies to price gouge. Senate Republicans are literally choosing to help China out compete the U.S. in order to protect big drug companies. This takes loyalty to special interests over working Americans to a new and shocking height.  We are not going to back down in the face of this outrageous threat.

MSNBC, The Hill