Drug Pricing Initiatives: President Biden has indicated that a Senate vote on H.R. 5376 (the Build Back Better Act, or BBBA) will likely not occur until 2022. This follows conversations between President Biden and Senator Joe Manchin, who is being described as the primary Democratic holdout. The BBBA is an approximately $2.2 trillion social safety net, climate, and tax bill that includes measures related to drug pricing and healthcare. The House of Representatives passed the BBBA on Nov. 19, 2021.
The BBBA is part of the budget reconciliation process, which allows passage in the Senate by a simple majority. Passage would require all 50 Democratic and Independent Senators’ votes, with Vice President Harris casting the tie-breaking vote. No Republican Senators are expected to support the measure.
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