Joe Biden's inexorable march toward the fanatical left continued this week, as he and Bernie Sanders…
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Biden Drug Plan Would Slash Innovation and U.S. Consumer Access

Joe Biden's inexorable march toward the fanatical left continued this week, as he and Bernie Sanders (D - Vermont) introduced their "unity platform" in anticipation of this year's Democratic convention.  We can thus add weaker U.S. patents and drug price controls imported from foreign nations to Biden's existing dumpster fire of bad ideas.

Here's the problem.  As we've often emphasized, and contrary to persistent myth, American consumers enjoy far greater access to new lifesaving drugs than people in other nations, including those in "other advanced economies" (Biden's words) whose price controls Biden seeks to import:

Of all new cancer drugs developed worldwide between 2011 and 2018, 96% were available to American consumers.  Meanwhile, only 56% of those drugs became available in Canada…[more]

July 10, 2020 • 04:52 PM

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Senate Change Reveals Obama Was the Obstructionist All Along Print
By Timothy H. Lee
Thursday, January 08 2015
Unfortunately, Keystone XL isn't the only example of the Administration's exposed intransigence.

Throughout Barack Obama's White House tenure, he and his apologists have scapegoated House Republicans as the source of governmental obstruction and dysfunction. 

The allegation was inaccurate, as a simple comparison between the number of House bills passed under Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) versus the number of Senate bills passed under former Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) reveals.  After just one day of the new Republican House and Senate majorities, however, any residual ambiguity whatsoever has evaporated. 

The Keystone XL pipeline, now entering year six of debate, constitutes Exhibit A. 

For years, the Obama Administration has equivocated and dragged its feet, despite no fewer than five State Department environmental assessments and obvious bipartisan support.  Just as conspicuously, Obama refused to offer either a veto threat or explicit support while Democrats like former Senator Mary Landrieu fought for reelection on the basis that she could advance the project.  A profile in courage Obama was not. 

Fast-forward to this week, with Landrieu's resounding defeat in Obama's rearview mirror. 

The Administration greeted the new year and the new Congress in a gratuitously confrontational manner, explicitly announcing that it would veto legislation authorizing the pipeline.  That despite the fact that the Senate legislation finally authorizing it includes a bipartisan, filibuster-proof supermajority of at least 60 Senators, not to mention support from a coalition ranging from labor unions to refiners to 72% of the American public. 

The immediate response from Senate Democrats was notably scathing, including Senator Joe Manchin (D -West Virginia): 

"I am disappointed that the President will not allow this Congress to turn over a new leaf and engage in the legislative process to improve an important piece of legislation.  His decision to veto such a commonsense bill prior to the unfolding of regular Congressional order and the offering of amendments appears premature, and does little to mitigate the Congressional gridlock.  It is time that we address the critical issues of moving America toward energy independence and fostering job growth and economic prosperity." 

Another Democratic Senator, North Dakota's Heidi Heitkamp, was equally critical of the Obama Administration's maneuver, adding, "You cannot defend that process.  Six years to site a pipeline is ridiculous." 

Compounding the ironic and shameful nature of the Obama Administration's behavior, Obama himself accused House Republicans in a July 1, 2014, speech of obstructing infrastructure projects and the jobs they create.  Obama's own State Department has estimated that construction of the pipeline would create 10,000 construction jobs, 16,000 jobs in associated industries such as suppliers and transportation as well as 26,000 additional indirect jobs.  Thus, his rhetoric was obviously insincere all along. 

Unfortunately, Keystone XL isn't the only example of the Administration's exposed intransigence. 

As Exhibit B, on the same day that it threatened to veto a bill authorizing the pipeline, the Administration also vowed to veto legislation amending ObamaCare's definition of a "full-time" employee from 30 hours to the more traditional 40 hours.  Employers have expressed broad opposition to that provision, because it increases their healthcare cost burden and incentivizes them to reduce hours, limit the number of full-time employees they hire and even impose layoffs.  At a time of stagnating median incomes and as America's labor force participation rate is now lower than at any time since the 1970s (before women fully entered the workforce), the ObamaCare provision in question undermines the goal of higher wages and fuller employment that Obama claims to seek. 

Obama's veto threat on that definition amounts to nothing more than vanity and partisan stubbornness. 

As Exhibit C, a bipartisan consensus also exists to repeal ObamaCare's destructive medical device tax.  That provision penalizes medical innovators and chills job creation in a high-paying and cutting-edge industry, and a bill rightfully repealing it can easily pass the House and Senate.  Unfortunately, Obama and liberals like Reid consider it a sacred source of federal taxes, so a veto is likely here as well. 

Accordingly, just one week into the year 2015 and new Congressional leadership, the greatest source of obstruction and federal government dysfunction over the past several years has been exposed for the American electorate to see.  Until this week, Obama could depend upon Harry Reid to suffocate bipartisan legislation while he still held the title of Senate Majority Leader. 

That is no longer true, so the question now becomes whether Americans will demand responsible leadership from Obama and his fellow obstructionists. 

Question of the Week   
In which one of the following years was the National Park Service established?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"The only people who might better know the streets of urban America than the cops who patrol them are the crooks who haunt them. What can the criminals tell us now about the state of our cities? The crooks know that the streets and alleys are being returned to them and that the police are in retreat. That is unmistakably the case as crime, particularly violent crime, is exploding all over urban America…[more]
 
 
—George J. Terwilliger, III, Esq., Former U.S. Justice Department Attorney, Deputy Attorney General and Acting Attorney General
— George J. Terwilliger, III, Esq., Former U.S. Justice Department Attorney, Deputy Attorney General and Acting Attorney General
 
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