April 27, 2015

Senate Finance Committee Approves “Fast Track” Trade Promotion Authority Bill

The Senate Finance Committee voted 20-6 on Wednesday to approve the Trade Promotion Authority Bill (“fast track”) that would allow the President greater powers to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP). With these expanded negotiation powers, President Obama’s deal would only be subject to an up-or-down vote in the Senate, without the possibility to make amendments or open and full debate.

A companion bill in the House Ways and Means Committee also passed yesterday. Prior to the votes, the Alliance sent letters to members of the Ways and Means and Finance Committees urging them to oppose the deal.

The TPA Bill will face major scrutiny on the Senate and House floors, as both Congressional Democrats and Republicans are split on the fast track bill and the coming TPP. If passed, the TPP will likely decrease the availability of certain generic drugs and limit the ability of the federal government to secure discounted pricing for drugs under the Medicare and Medicare programs.

Richard Fiesta, Executive Director of the Alliance, said “We will continue trying to make inroads with Senators and House members to ultimately stop this bill from becoming law and raising prescription drug prices.”

 

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