Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is pursuing the highest spot on the Senate’s Well being, Training, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, his spokesman mentioned Thursday, now that Democrats are poised to keep up management of the Senate.
As chief of the committee with jurisdiction over a lot of federal well being coverage, Sanders could have a platform to champion his progressive causes, together with his “Medicare for All” proposal.
“As chairman of the committee, he’ll deal with common well being care, decreasing the price of prescribed drugs, rising entry to greater training, and defending employees’ rights on the job,” Sanders spokesman Mike Casca mentioned.
Whereas progressive insurance policies received’t get traction within the GOP-controlled Home, Sanders will nonetheless have the ability to name hearings and trigger complications for well being business executives.
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the present HELP chairwoman, has mentioned she can be in search of the gavel of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Earlier on Thursday, Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) mentioned that he’ll take over as the highest Republican on the chamber’s Homeland Safety and Governmental Affairs Committee subsequent 12 months, establishing Sen. Invoice Cassidy (R-La.) to be the rating member of HELP.
As a member of the Senate Well being Committee, Paul clashed often with Anthony Fauci, the chief medical adviser to the president who grew to become the face of the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Whereas Cassidy is extra bipartisan-minded than Paul, it stays to be seen how intently he would have the ability to work with a powerful progressive equivalent to Sanders.