News & Politics  
comments_image Comments

Big Pharma Buys Off The Senate

An eleventh-hour loophole in the "fiscal cliff" deal confirms our worst suspicions about how Congress operates.

Continued from previous page

 
 
Share
 
 
 

The fact that their puppet master had been the subject of fines and a massive federal investigation mattered not to its servile pawns in the Senate, where pomp and circumstance are but masks for the brute power of money.

Peter Welch, Vermont’s Democratic congressman, has just introduced bipartisan legislation to repeal the half billion–dollar giveaway to Amgen. Its co-sponsors include Republican Richard Hanna of New York and Democrats Jim Cooper of Tennessee and Bruce Braley of Iowa.

The Amgen deal “confirms the American public’s worst suspicions of how Congress operates,” Representative Welch told us this week. “As the nation’s economy teetered on the edge of a Congressional-created fiscal cliff, lobbyists for a private, for-profit company seized an opportunity to feed at the public trough. It’s no wonder cockroaches and root canals are more popular than Congress.”

In his inaugural address, Barack Obama said the commitments we make to each other through Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security don’t make us a nation of takers. But the actions of Amgen and its cronies under the dome on Capitol Hill show who the real takers are — not those who look to government for support in old age and hard times but the ones at the top whose avarice and lust for profit compel them to take as much as they can from that government at the expense of everyone else.

 

Bill Moyers is the host of “Moyers & Company,” airing weekly on public television. More at: www.billmoyers.com/

Michael Winship is senior writing fellow at Demos and a senior writer of the new series, Moyers & Company, airing on public television.