ICYMI: Commerce Secretary Raimondo exposes Senator McConnell’s blockade of lower prices

McConnell ‘does politics with our national security’

Talking with George Stephanopoulos on ABC This week, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo pointed to congressional legislation to build domestic manufacturing of semiconductor chips as a concrete step that must be taken to bring down prices for the American people. This legislation would create thousands of well-paying jobs and solve the chip shortage that has driven up the prices of cars and countless other products. As the Secretary noted, Senator McConnell is now trying to hold that legislation hostage to block another crucial effort to lower prescription drug prices for the American people.

The secretary also noted that there are profound national security implications of not addressing the chip shortage, saying “He’s playing politics with our national security and it’s time for Congress to do its thing. work on these two dimensions”.

Watch the clip: https://twitter.com/abcpolitics/status/1546127074058031105?s=21&t=S6SP7ACmRsV2YnOLwiulVQ

STEPHANOPOULOS: …is there anything more the president can do to fight inflation that he’s not doing now?

RAIMONDO: Well, one of the things Ro Khanna pointed out in this article is that Congress needs to pass the CHIPS Act. There is a bill currently before Congress that Ro Khanna supports, President Biden supports, that would increase the national supply of semiconductors and also create a supply chain office in the Department of Commerce. It must pass. Must pass now. Not six months from now, now. It’s bipartisan.

Mitch McConnell just threw a wrench in that about a week ago, saying he wasn’t going to allow the Republicans to move on this unless we moved toward reconciliation. This is a perfect example, George, of increasing supply. We now have inflation due to lack of supply. And increase the supply.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But as you pointed out, Madam Secretary, Mitch McConnell said it’s not going anywhere as long as the president continues to push for a budget reconciliation bill. Doesn’t that mean the CHIPS bill is dead?

RAIMONDO: He shouldn’t be dead. Why can’t we do both? What’s in this reconciliation bill? Allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices. What will that do? Lower drug prices for the average American consumer.

So the – again, the president wakes up every day pushing us, his team and Congress, what more can we do to bring prices down? So let’s lower the price of prescription drugs, so that people feel like when they go to the pharmacy and also let’s pass the CHIPS law to lower the price of potato chips, which will lower the price by about whatever you buy, because everything includes fries.

It is a false choice. He’s playing politics with our national security and it’s time for Congress to do its job on both of those dimensions.


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