Chuck Schumer wants to dare Republicans to vote against a popular $35 insulin cap

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Chuck Schumer
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., flanked from left by Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., holds a news conference on Thursday, May 5, 2022.Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
  • Schumer wants to dare the GOP into knocking out a popular insulin cap plan, per two people familiar.

  • The $35 insulin cap is a major Democratic priority included in the Inflation Reduction Act.

  • Schumer's maneuver would set the stage for a tough vote for Republicans.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer wants to dare Senate Republicans to knock out a popular $35 monthly cap on insulin prices from the party's big bill under consideration, per two people familiar with the move.

Those people were granted anonymity to reveal confidential discussions.

The $35 limit on insulin co-pays is one of the most popular elements of the legislation that Democrats want to pass using budget reconciliation. That maneuver allows Senate Democrats to sidestep GOP resistance and approve certain bills with only a simple majority vote if they all stay united.

But the insulin cap has always been at risk of falling out of the bill since it may not comply with its strict procedural rules. The process is overseen by the Senate parliamentarian, who gave the green light to most of the Democratic legislation's climate, health, and tax provisions overnight.

The fate of the insulin cap remains formally up in the air. But one of the people familiar said that the parliamentarian sustained a GOP objection to it during the "Byrd Bath," meaning the top official didn't believe it complied with reconciliation's rules.

The $35 insulin cap is still in the Inflation Reduction Act for now. If the parliamentarian strikes out the provision, Senate Democrats can still keep it in and force Republicans to raise a "point of order" to take it out. That would set the stage for a recorded vote to overrule the parliamentarian at a 60 vote threshold.

Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, who has worked with Democrats in the past on drug pricing said she was waiting to see the final language before weighing in on the Democrats' plan. Her vote would be crucial to getting past the 60-vote threshold.

"I still don't know what language has survived and what language hasn't," Collins told Insider. "So, I'm going to wait and see what the parliamentarian's final decisions are."

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

Read the original article on Business Insider