Huge pharma fight in the House coming up

Impeachment has competition in the House of Representatives. As Democrats move closer to an impeachment vote, they’re also moving toward votes on a drug-price bill that won’t do anything about drug prices; a newly negotiated NAFTA that is barely an improvement on the old one and would be a huge win for President Trump; and a bill to reauthorize Pentagon spending without doing anything to restrict our participation in the slaughter in Yemen. 

I have a story up with Dave Dayen on the drug-price fight, which is far more important than it sounds. The Congressional Progressive Caucus has decided to make it a test of its strength in the House, and if Nancy Pelosi manages to barrel them over, it’ll be a humiliating setback. But if they hold strong, it could open a new era in House legislating, where the demands of progressives are taken seriously. That story is here. 

There are also reports that Pelosi is close to a deal with Trump on a new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, basically NAFTA 2.0, a huge priority of Trump’s. Pelosi believes it’s important for her moderate members to be able to say back home that they’re still working with Trump even as they’re impeaching him. Whatever you think of that analysis, it’s also a huge boon for Trump if it happens, and improves his chances considerably in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, key states he needs for reelection. Pelosi’s institutional priority is holding on to the House, though, not defeating Trump (or holding out for a new president and getting a better trade deal). Bear in mind that we don’t know what’s in the deal yet. Pelosi spent the weekend negotiating, and there is no paper yet circulating, merely reports of some form of agreement. 

It does appear that if Trump gets a win on this new NAFTA, his chances of reelection go up considerable. He can say he  delivered on his promises, and that Democrats don’t really think he’s that corrupt after all, or they wouldn’t have delivered him such a major victory. 

I did a video essay that ran this weekend, where I argue that the media largely ignoring Sanders could actually end up helping him. I filmed it in my holiday flannel.

And we also have a short video interview with Devin Nunes, after which he accused our reporter Lee Fang of “stalking” him. Delusional. Watch that here.

And if you’re still doing holiday shopping, what better gift to get your people than my book, We’ve Got People?