House progressives may try to block vote on Pelosi drug bill

House progressives are fuming about a drug pricing bill coming to the floor next week, an appeals court ruled on the “public charge” rule, legal marijuana could be to blame for some vaping illnesses in Massachusetts, and tension is growing between Mitch McConnell and Chuck Grassley over a bipartisan drug pricing bill.

House progressives may try to block vote on Pelosi drug bill

© Greg Nash

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is planning to bring a sweeping drug pricing bill to the floor next week. But she may have to deal with a group of unhappy progressive lawmakers, who are contemplating trying to block the bill.

House progressives are considering voting against a procedural motion to proceed unless they get changes to the measure, effectively threatening to stop the bill in its tracks.

The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) on Friday is conducting a whip count of its 98 members to see how many would be willing to vote “no” on what is known as the rule for the legislation.

The move, while not certain yet, is a sign of the intense frustration among some progressive House lawmakers that they have not been able to win changes to the bill they have sought for months, in what they say has been a closed off, top-down process.

“There are a lot of people who are saying if we don’t get some of these things in, we have to consider all our options, including voting against the rule,” Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), the co-chairwoman of the CPC, told reporters on Friday.

Progressives hope that if they vote “no” on the motion, they can force leadership to either allow floor votes on progressive amendments or make changes to the underlying bill before the vote.

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