Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings and President Donald Trump have few things in common, ideologically speaking. However, one issue that they appear to agree on is that egregiously high prescription drug prices are a rotten component of the American health care system.
Speaking today on MSNBC’s show “Morning Joe,” Cummings said he and Trump had discussed the matter at the inaugural luncheon last weekend. “He made it clear that he wanted to meet with me with regard to prescription drug prices. Mr. President, I know you’re watching, so I look forward to meeting with you,” he said.
Apparently, Trump was watching. He reportedly called Cummings minutes later to discuss prescription drug pricing and to pass on his condolences to the congressman’s staffer who lost six of her children in a Baltimore house fire earlier this month.
Cummings said on MSNBC that he was “encouraged on this particular issue, but if I get an audience with the president, I’m going to talk about a whole lot of other issues, too.”
The 20-year congressman said those issues include the president’s gag order on several federal agencies’ employees. “I just want to make sure that all of those federal employees who have anything that they want to say to congress – because there’s some confusion now as to whether they can talk to us – I’m telling you the law protects you,” he said, “and I will do every single thing in my power to protect you. Call me.”
Cummings also dismissed Trump’s concerns about voter fraud, saying “we already beat him to the punch” by sending letters to all 50 states’ attorney general and hearing from them that they experienced no issues of voter fraud. Cummings said he is more concerned about Republicans using that as a reason to justify denying people the right to vote, as has happened in North Carolina.
“The thing I do want him to do is investigate all of the people who don’t get the chance to vote, who have been denied the right to vote,” he said.
He also said Trump should mention to House Speaker Paul Ryan that they should consider beefing up the Voting Rights Act.
Cummings also discussed what he likes so far about Trump’s presidency (meeting with unions and promising to hire their workers to rebuild infrastructure, his previous assurances that he won’t cut Social Security and Medicare) and what he doesn’t (trivial distractions like lies about attendance). Watch the whole thing here:
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