What: All Issues : Aid to Less Advantaged People, at Home & Abroad : The Chronically Ill : H.R. 1. Prescription Drug Benefit/Vote to Recommit to Committee a Conference Report on Prescription Drug Legislation With Instructions that the Measure Be Amended to Allow the Importation of Prescription Drugs from Canada. (2003 house Roll Call 668)
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H.R. 1. Prescription Drug Benefit/Vote to Recommit to Committee a Conference Report on Prescription Drug Legislation With Instructions that the Measure Be Amended to Allow the Importation of Prescription Drugs from Canada.
house Roll Call 668     Nov 22, 2003
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Loss

The subject of this vote-a motion to recommit-was the fifth and final procedural vote prior to the vote on final passage of the prescription drug bill. One of the few procedural rights of the minority party in the House is the motion to recommit. If successful, the motion recommits a bill to committee and is usually accompanied with instructions to amend the legislation in a specific fashion. On this vote, Representative Turner (D-TX) motioned to recommit the conference report on prescription drug legislation to committee with instructions that the legislation be amended to allow the importation of prescription drugs from Canada (a conference report is the product of conference committee negotiations which are undertaken by House and Senate lawmakers after each legislative body completes action on its respective version of a piece of legislation). Progressives voted in support of the motion to recommit and argued that the underlying conference report failed to address the rising costs of prescription drugs. A common-sense approach to lower drug prices, Progressives argued, was to allow citizens and health providers in the U.S. to purchase prescription drugs from Canadian pharmacies. Canadian drugs, Progressives noted, are identical to those sold in the U.S. but are sold in Canada at significantly reduced prices. Progressives characterized the price differential between prescription drugs sold in the U.S. and Canada as price gouging on the part of U.S. pharmaceutical companies and attributed the differences in prices to the enormous lobbying power of the pharmaceutical industry on Capitol Hill. Conservatives opposed the motion to recommit based on their concerns that Canadian prescription drugs might be unsafe. Canada, Conservatives argued, does not test the purity and quality of prescription drugs as rigorously as does the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. On a party-line vote of 211-222, the motion to recommit was defeated and the conference report on prescription drug legislation was allowed to proceed to a final vote.

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