For Immediate Release
Mairead Lynn, 484-678-0444
As Finance Committee Votes on Becerra Nomination, Opposition is Coming From Members Who Have Taken $9.6 Million from Big Pharma
In an effort to appease their Big Pharma donors, Republican members of the Senate Finance Committee have been adamant in their opposition to Xavier Becerra, Biden’s nominee to lead the Department of Health and Human Services.
Collectively, Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee have taken $36.1 million from the health sector, including $9.6 million from Big Pharma.
These senators have oversight of the very same industries that have bankrolled their campaigns with millions of dollars, including the pharmaceutical industry.
Becerra has a track record of taking on Big Pharma and holding the industry accountable for price gouging throughout his time as California’s Attorney General and has worked to expand health care access under the Affordable Care Act, making him an obvious target for partisan opposition.
WASHINGTON - Today, as the Senate Finance Committee votes on the confirmation of Xavier Becerra as the next Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary, the Accountable Senate War Room is calling on senators to stop catering to their special interest donors and support Becerra’s nomination. Becerra has a strong track record of holding pharmaceutical companies accountable and some of the loudest opposition so far has come from senators who have taken millions from Big Pharma.
“While Xavier Becerra has spent his career taking on the pharmaceutical industry for their corrupt price gouging, Senate Republicans have spent their political careers lining their pockets with millions of dollars from Big Pharma and furthering the industry’s bottom line in Congress,” said Mairead Lynn, spokesperson for Accountable Senate War Room. “It's obvious what motivates their opposition, but it’s time for these senators to stop catering to Big Pharma and instead confirm Becerra quickly and work with the Biden administration to get this pandemic under control and the American people back on their feet.”
Contributions from the health industries include:
Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-ID):
- Has accepted over $1.8 million from the health sector throughout his career, including over $616,000 from Big Pharma.
- Crapo also raked in contributions from the health care and financial sectors as he was poised to become the Committee chairman at the end of last year. Read Accountable’s report here.
Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA):
- Has accepted over $3.7 million from the health sector throughout his career, including nearly $1 million from Big Pharma.
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Senator John Cornyn (R-TX):
- Has accepted over $1.7 million from the health sector throughout his career, including over $1 million from Big Pharma.
- Cornyn said the quiet part out loud when he brought up concerns with Becerra’s lack of ties to the pharmaceutical industry, implicitly admitting he’d prefer a nominee in the pocket of Big Pharma.
Senator Richard Burr (R-NC):
- Has accepted over $4.8 million from the health sector throughout his career, including $1.5 million from Big Pharma
Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA):
- Has accepted over $5.1 million from the health sector throughout his career, including over $736,000 from Big Pharma.
Senator John Barrasso (R-WY):
- Has accepted over $2.7 million from the health sector throughout his career, including over $651,000 from Big Pharma.
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Nonpartisan watchdog group Accountable.US recently launched the Accountable Senate War Room to fight back against those lawmakers who seek to overturn the will of the people by standing in the way of the smooth transition of power and the swift approval of nominees to ensure that the government can function and advance the interests of all American people, not just the rich and powerful.