Can Congress Get Work Done With So Many Lawmakers Hitting the Exits?

Courtesy of Sen. Debbie Stabenow

Debbie Stabenow

Between President Donald Trump’s tweets, the Robert Mueller investigation into Russian meddling, and partisan bickering over a whole host of issues in Congress, it’s hard to imagine any work gets done in Washington. And yet lawmakers can and are working on policy.

Senator Debbie Stabenow is in Detroit today to unveil new legislation in an attempt to lower the cost of prescription drugs. She says Americans pay, by far, the highest prices in the world for medication. Just yesterday the pharmaceutical industry released a major campaign to place the blame for the cost of drugs at the feet of the insurance industry. 

Senator Stabenow joins Detroit Today to discuss the three new pieces of prescription drug legislation. She says while pharmaceutical lobbyists may make passing the legislation difficult, public support can ensure the issue of affordable medicine is addressed.

If we all organize together and say, enough is enough…this has got to be a conversation about our basic rights and medicine and our access to it at affordable prices.”

Russell Berman, staff writer for the Atlantic, also joins Detroit Today to discuss Congressional Republican retirements. In a recent article, Berman writes: “If you want to see a political wave forming a year before an election, watch the retirements. They’re often a leading indicator for which direction a party is headed, and so far, 2018 is shaping up ominously for Republicans, who will be defending twice as many open seats this fall as Democrats.”

Berman says Trump’s actions are a contributing factor to the wave of Republican retirements.

A number of these retiring Republicans talk about how stressful it is to have to be associated and asked about the president’s actions, tweets, thoughts everyday, whether it’s in Capitol Hill or in town halls…Certainly his unconventional style has [worn] on Republicans and its making their re-election fights harder.”

Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.


Image credit: Jake Neher/WDET

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