Ernst touts Trump’s prescription drug focus in State of the Union

February 5, 2020


(Washington) — Iowa Senator Joni Ernst says President Trump outlined some “big wins” for his administration in his State of the Union address Tuesday evening.

Among other things, Ernst says the president highlighted recently-reached trade deals, such as the United States-Mexico-Canada agreement (USMCA), plus the deal with Japan, and phase one of the new trade pact with China. The Red Oak Republican says she’s also pleased with the president’s comments on lowering health care costs–including prescription drug costs.

“As many of you know, I’ve focused on drug costs, and have worked hard to push for legislation to address them,” said Ernst. “I’m very pleased that the president articulated his vision on increasing transparency, and supporting innovation to drive down costs. I look forward to continuing to work with this administration, and my colleagues in both parties to take this on.”

Many House and Senate Democrats began chanting “H.R. 3” during the address. Approved in the U.S. House, the bill establishing programs to attack the high costs of prescription pills is yet to be approved in the Senate. Ernst expects H.R. 3 to be scrutinized the Senate, with parts of it used in a compromise bill worked out in a House-Senate conference committee.

“H.R. 3 is not the do-all, be-all, end-all,” she said. “It is a starting place. It’s what was supported in the House. But, there are various ideas that are supported in the Senate, as well. Senator Grassley is working on some text right now, and we’re working through some of the issues of that particular proposal, too. So, I imagine that by the end of this, we’ll meld everything together, and come up with a plan that will be supported broadly in a bipartisan matter, because this is a bipartisan issue.”

Ernst says any bill approved must be one that works for all Americans.

“We’ve got to find something that works for the American people,” said Ernst. “I think, in the end, that’s what we’re going to have. It’s a great compromise bill that works together to bring down those costs for Iowans.”

Ernst made her comments in a conference call with reporters Wednesday morning.