Washington, D.C. — Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) and Mark Pocan (WI-02) released the following statement on the proposed FISA reauthorization:

“For months, we worked hard to secure vital reforms needed to overhaul the expansive surveillance powers authorized in Section 215 and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Unfortunately, the final bill falls short of the reforms we requested last fall and are insufficient to protect the civil rights and liberties of the American public. It’s disappointing that Congress will not take this rare bipartisan opportunity to end sweeping, unconstitutional surveillance programs. Given the lack of these critical reforms, we will be voting no on the final legislation this week.

“Though this final legislation is an improvement over a clean reauthorization, it doesn’t go far enough. Congress can and must do more to protect civil liberties, and we will continue our fight to curb FISA abuses.”

Washington, D.C. -- Today, the Co-Chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02) and Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) sent a letter to the CEOs of leading pharmaceutical companies seeking information on potential supply chain drug shortages due to the coronavirus epidemic.


The full letter is below.



Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America
950 F Street NW, Suite 300
Washington, D.C. 20004

Dear Dr. Caorio, Mr. Ricks, and Ms. Sequeira:

We write to request information regarding the potential for human drug shortages as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are nearly 93,000 reported cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in 80 countries around the world – including more than 100 reported cases in the United States – with the WHO labeling the global risk assessment level as “very high.” The COVID-19 outbreak raises serious concerns about the consolidation of the supply chain for the manufacturing of active pharmaceutical ingredients and medical supplies in China and other countries that play a large role in the global supply chain. In fact, the FDA has already notified the public that one drug company reported an expected shortage due to difficulties obtaining a raw ingredient from a site affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

As you know, the timely notification from manufacturers of any issue that could lead to a potential disruption of the supply chain is critical to preventing drug shortages. And while the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) is monitoring the supply chain for the potential shortage of critical medical products, human drugs, and active pharmaceutical ingredients in those drugs as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, Congress also has a critical role to play in ensuring that Americans have access to safe, affordable and effective therapies during this outbreak.

As such, we request that you provide us with detailed information on:

  • The potential for human drug shortages as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak;
  • Efforts your members are taking to evaluate your supply chain and the potential for disruption to the manufacturing of active pharmaceutical ingredients in impacted countries;
  • Efforts your members are taking to identify alternative domestic manufacturing or input sourcing for their products;
  • Any planned or ongoing efforts to stockpile components necessary to the production of their products;
  • The number of drugs that are partially or fully manufactured by your members in China or other countries that are critical to the global supply chain;
  • The number of drugs manufactured by your members that contain an ingredient only found or produced in China or other countries critical to the global supply chain;
  • A list of contracts and subcontractors that do the manufacturing of drugs produced by your members; and
  • Your recommendations to Congress on the type of assistance your members would require in the event of a severe supply chain disruption. 

We look forward to your timely response.

Sincerely,

 

Mark Pocan

Member of Congress 

 

Pramila Jayapal

Member of Congress

 

cc: Mr. Richard Gonzales, Chairman of the Board and CEO, AbbVie Inc.; Dr. Ludwig Hanston, CEO, Alexion Pharmaceuticals; Dr. Richard Pops, CEO, Alkermes Biotech; Mr. Brenon L. Saurders, President and CEO, Allergan; Mr. Robert A. Bradway, Chairman and CEO, Amgen Inc.; Mr. Kenji Yasukawa, President and CEO, Astellas Pharma; Mr. Pascal Soriot, Executive Director and CEO, AstraZeneca; Mr. Liam Condon, Bayer; Mr. Michael Vounatsos; CEO, Biogen; Mr. Wolfgang Baiker, President and CEO, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals; Dr. Giovanni Caforio, M.D., CEO of Bistrol-Myers Squibb; Sunao Manabe, CEO, Daiichi-Sankyo; Mr. Haruo Naito, CEO, Eisai; Mr. David Ricks, Chairman and CEO, Eli Lilly and Company; Mr. Rehan Verjee, President, EMD Serono; Mr. Alexander Hardy, CEO, Genentech; Mr. Daniel O’Day, Chairman and CEO, Gilead Sciences, Inc.; Mrs. Emma Walmsley, CEO, GlaxoSmithKline; Mr. Herve Hoppenot, President and CEO, Incyte Corporation; Mr. Richard Paulson, Executive Vice President and CEO, Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals, Inc.; Mr. Alex Gorskey, CEO, Johnson & Johnson; Dr. Deborah Dunsire, President and CEO, Lundbeck LLC; Kenneth C. Frazier, Chairman and CEO, Merck & Co., Inc.; Dr. Vasant Narasimhan, CEO, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation; Mr. Doug Langa, Executive Vice President, Novo Nordisk Inc.; Mr. Kabir Nath, President and CEO, Otsuka North America Pharmaceutical Business; Dr. Albert Bourla, Chairman and CEO, Pfizer, Inc.; Mr. Paul Hudon, CEO, Sanofi; Dr. Jeff Jonas, CEO, Sage Therapeutics; Dr. Antony Loebel, Persident and CEO, Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; Mr. Christope Weber, President and CEO, Takeda Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.; Mr. Kare Schultz, President & CEO, Teva US Speciality Medicines; Mr. Jean-Christophe Tellier, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Committee, UCB. 

Washington, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) and Congressman Mark Pocan (WI-02) released the following statement marking one year since the introduction of H.R. 1384, the Medicare For All Act of 2019:

“Over the last year, Medicare for All has grown from a bill to a movement. There’s broad recognition across this country that our broken health care system is predatory, cruel, and unsustainable.

“Patients who should be fighting illnesses are forced instead to fight their insurance companies. Hardworking people are turning to GoFundMe donations to refill their insulin. For millions of Americans, seeing a dentist or going to the emergency room is risking financial ruin.

“We can do so much better. With the Medicare for All Act of 2019, we’re offering a new vision – one that promises coverage for everyone, no matter the color of your skin, the neighborhood you live in, or the number in your bank account. A vision where health care is recognized as a human right, for everyone. And as we confront an emerging public health crisis with the novel coronavirus, it is more critical than ever that every American has access to universal health care.”

Congresswoman Jayapal is the lead sponsor of H.R. 1384, the Medicare for All Act of 2019, along with Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-12). The Medicare For All Act has been endorsed by the CPC and is co-sponsored by more than half of the House Democratic Caucus. Four House committees have held legislative hearings on the Medicare For All Act over the last year.

 
Washington, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Congressman Mark Pocan (WI-02) and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) released the following statement on the FY2021 Trump Budget:

“President Trump’s proposed budget is an insult to working people across the country. We often say that budgets are moral documents – and this budget clearly shows a complete absence of empathy and decency in this White House.

Washington, D.C. -- Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-chairs Congressman Mark Pocan (WI-02) and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) released the following statement on H.R. 2382, the USPS Fairness Act:

“We are pleased that the USPS Fairness Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives tonight. For years, the U.S. Postal Service has been subject to unfair political attacks and threats of privatization because of the onerous, harmful and unnecessary pre-funding mandate, which requires USPS to prefund retiree health benefits 75 years in advance. This critical bill protects the financial future of the U.S. Postal Service by ending this unfair requirement and allows the Postal Service to manage its finances like any other federal agency. The U.S. Postal Service touches every community in our country; by passing this bipartisan legislation, we are ensuring that families can continue to rely on and benefit from these essential services.”

###

Washington, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs, Congressman Mark Pocan (WI-02) and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), released the following statement on President Trump’s State of the Union:

“Donald Trump has no understanding of the struggles facing working families. He thinks the economy is working because it works for his billionaire friends -- but the reality for everyday families is far different.

“Rising health care costs, skyrocketing prescription drug prices, and stagnant wages have left tens of millions of Americans struggling to afford the basics. Nearly thirty percent of American adults report skipping prescriptions because of cost, but the Trump Administration has done nothing to stop Big Pharma raising their prices month after month. Twenty-seven million Americans are uninsured – including more than four million children – but instead of expanding access to care, the Trump Administration is suing to end protections for pre-existing conditions and trying to end Medicaid as we know it. Forty percent of Americans can’t afford a $400 emergency, but that doesn’t concern the White House because the wealthiest are enjoying record gains in the stock market.

“The American people don’t need more hollow promises from this president. We need bold action to tackle drug pricing – not proposals that let Big Pharma off the hook and exclude negotiation. We need to take on the greed in our current healthcare system and expand coverage to everyone – not erode the protections and safety net that currently exists. And we need action to address the root of our economic inequality: a rigged system that allows President Trump to line the pockets of his rich friends while everyday families work harder and harder for less and less.

“Let’s be clear – Americans deserve better than what they heard from the president tonight. They don’t want school vouchers – they want to raise teachers’ salaries, rebuild our crumbling schools, and ensure every child can receive a quality public education. They don’t want to gut the Affordable Care Act or block grant Medicaid – they want to see universal health care for everyone in our country. They don’t want an administration that demonizes immigrants and wastes billions on a harmful wall – they want a humane, just, and fair immigration system that welcomes families trying to build a life in America. They don’t want reckless military escalations that endanger our troops or illegal and costly endless wars — they want to draw down our military engagements, engage in diplomacy, and reinvest in communities who need help here at home.

“We reject President Trump’s divisive vision. We can do so much better.”

###

Washington, D.C. — The Co-Chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Congressman Mark Pocan (WI-02) and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), along with CPC First Vice Chair Congressman Ro Khanna (CA-17) and CPC Chair Emeritus Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) released the following statement applauding the passage of two CPC-endorsed bills to prevent funding for an unauthorized war in Iran and to repeal the 2002 Iraq AUMF:

“For far too long, Congress has abdicated its constitutional responsibility to debate and vote on matters of war and peace. Over the last seventeen years, the Iraq AUMF has been a blank check for any President to continue this war in perpetuity — without any oversight from Congress. The Congressional Progressive Caucus has long objected to this long outdated authorization and the lack of appropriate and necessary involvement of Congress.

“President Trump’s reckless decision to assassinate General Soleimani — conducted without the knowledge or approval of Congress — made it clear that we cannot afford to wait to reassert our constitutional responsibility over war making. That’s why, shortly after these strikes, we called on House leadership to act swiftly to bring both the Khanna and Lee bills for a vote on the House Floor. These bills are essential to preventing a catastrophic and completely avoidable war with Iran. If we've learned anything over the past two decades, it's that wars are much easier to start than they are to end. With today's vote, the House has recognized that there is no military solution to our conflicts in the Middle East – only de-escalation and diplomacy can lead to peace."

###

Washington, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs, Congressman Mark Pocan (WI-02) and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), released the following statement on the Trump Administration’s announcement pertaining to Israel and Palestine:

“This isn’t a peace plan. Any proposal that refuses to include Palestinian voices is not a plan at all. Rather, it’s a further entrenchment of the disastrous status quo that violates international law and denies basic human rights to millions of people. This outrageous proposal undermines decades of U.S. policy and sends a signal that our government cannot be trusted to advance peace and diplomacy on the world stage.

“The Trump Administration has shown that they will not pursue a fair, negotiated two-state solution. The White House has operated in bad faith from the outset – green-lighting annexation of illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank, moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, and cutting desperately-needed humanitarian funds for Palestinians – with catastrophic results for the security and stability of the region and American credibility abroad.

“Neither Israelis nor Palestinians can afford a politically-motivated, counterproductive ‘peace plan’ that does nothing to secure peace or protect human dignity. Any viable peace plan must include both Israeli and Palestinian voices and prioritize real diplomacy and negotiation.”

BACKGROUND: At the urging of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, the House of Representatives voted in December to pass Congressman Alan Lowenthal’s bill, H. Res 326, supporting a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

###

It has been three years since Donald Trump's bigoted Muslim Ban went into effect. Three long years that families have been separated; loved ones have been forced to miss milestone celebrations, funerals, and weddings; students have been prevented from attending universities; patients have been blocked from obtaining lifesaving treatments in the United States; and Muslim Americans have felt attacked and insulted. By implementing this hateful policy, the Trump Administration has deliberately torn families apart and betrayed our founding promise as a nation that welcomes immigrants.

Washington, D.C. – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-MD) announced Wednesday afternoon that the week the House returns from the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. District Work Period, it will consider Progressive Caucus-endorsed bills introduced by Reps. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Ro Khanna (D-CA) to repeal the 2002 Congressional authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) against Iraq and prevent taxpayer funding from being used to take military action against Iran without congressional authorization, respectively. On January 9, in a bipartisan vote, the House passed a resolution demanding that President Trump terminate the use of U.S. Armed Forces to engage in hostilities against Iran without Congressional authorization.

“We’re excited to have commitments for floor votes on both the Lee and Khanna bills during the week of January 27th. These bills, which have been endorsed by the Progressive Caucus, are critically needed to prevent war with Iran and stop President Trump from willfully defying the constitution. Finally Congress will have an opportunity to reassert our voice on military action,” said CPC Co-Chairs Congressman Mark Pocan and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal. “As we have learned more about the airstrikes, it’s become even more apparent that the White House manufactured reasons to drag us into a completely avoidable military escalation. Unless Congress acts, there’s nothing to stop President Trump from doing the same thing in the future. The Lee and Khanna bills are our best chance of preventing an avoidable future conflict with Iran, and we’re pleased that they will come to the floor before the end of the month.”

“I strongly support both of these bills, which will reassert Congress’s constitutional authority in questions of war and peace and sending American forces into harm’s way,” Leader Hoyer said. “I am particularly concerned about this Administration’s mischaracterization and misuse of the 2002 AUMF as legal justification for the recent strike in Iraq. It’s time to repeal this measure. I want to thank Rep. Lee, Rep. Khanna, and the Congressional Progressive Caucus for working closely with the House Democratic leadership to ensure the broadest possible support for these measures. I hope we can come together in a bipartisan way, as we did last week, to make it clear that, even while Iran remains a bad actor and sponsor of terror, President Trump does not have a unilateral authority to take our country into war against Iran and must work with Congress to meet this challenge.”

“For far too long, Congress has been missing in action on matters of war and peace,” said Rep. Barbara Lee. “It is long overdue for Congress to reassert its Constitutional authority on the use of force. It is time to end giving blank checks to (any) President to wage endless wars. I'm pleased that House Leadership is bringing my bipartisan bill, H.R. 2456, to repeal the 2002 Iraq Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) for a vote. It is more urgent than ever for Congress to do its job and prevent the President from using military force without Congressional authorization. Leaving this outdated AUMF on the books, which has been used to justify the use of force throughout the world, is not only dangerous but irresponsible."

“The future of American foreign policy cannot continue to emphasize military interventionism,” said Congressman Ro Khanna. “We must dedicate ourselves to pursuing a responsible, thoughtful foreign policy that prioritizes diplomacy and open communication. I am deeply thankful to Speaker Pelosi, Leader Hoyer, and the entire Democratic leadership team for their support in bringing this critical legislation to the floor for a vote. It’s high time Congress reasserted our power of the purse, and made clear to any president that they must come to us first before taking any offensive military action. War should always be a last resort.”

The legislation introduced by Rep. Lee, H.R. 2456, would sunset the 2002 authorization for the use of military force in Iraq, originally intended to enable operations against the regime of Saddam Hussein. Seventeen years after his removal from power, this AUMF has continued to be used by administrations to justify the use of American military force in Iraq. Rep. Khanna’s bill, H.R. 5543, prohibits the use of Federal funds for military action in or against Iran unless Congress specifically authorizes it or declares war or such actions are undertaken consistent with the War Powers Resolution of 1973.