WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats are close to a deal to lower prescription drug costs as part of a larger party-line package to advance a number of President Joe Biden's economic priorities, three sources familiar with the negotiations told NBC News.
Democrats plan to submit a "finalized agreement" on allowing Medicare to negotiate prices with pharmaceutical companies to a key Senate official "in the coming days" to see if it complies with the chamber's strict budget rules, one of the sources said.
The source, who requested anonymity to discuss sensitive negotiations between Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va, described the expected move as "major progress" that shows Democratic leadership wants to "move forward with a bill on the floor as early as next month."
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There's no final deal on the broader bill, however, as the other major parts of the "reconciliation" package — energy and climate policy provisions and tax changes to raise revenue — are still being negotiated between Schumer and Manchin. Unless an agreement can be reached quickly, it would be difficult to pass the bill before a scheduled month-long August recess.
The West Virginia Democrat’s office said Wednesday there is consensus and a path forward on drug pricing.
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