Democrats put forward a mix of populist themes and pragmatic policies Monday as part of a new agenda aimed at winning back Congress in 2018.
Called “A Better Deal,” the agenda calls for breaking up corporate monopolies, cutting prescription drug prices and improving U.S. infrastructure, among other policies which will be unveiled in the coming weeks.
“It is an ambitious economic agenda that represents a renewed Democratic commitment to the hard-working men and women across the United States who have been left out and left behind for too long,” wrote House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in a Washington Post op-ed previewing the plan.
The plan is reminiscent in parts of President Trump’s campaign rhetoric, including his call for helping “the forgotten men and women of our country” in his inaugural speech. Trump also called for cutting prescription drug prices and improving U.S. infrastructure, although his campaign pledge to rebuilt roads and bridges remains stalled in Congress.
But Democrats put forward much different approaches in their plan. Here’s a look at several proposals:
• Create a ‘Trust Buster.’ The plan calls for creating a new consumer advocate who would look more closely at corporate mergers and their effects on consumer privacy, product quality and jobs.
• Negotiate Drug Prices. Democrats argue for creating an independent agency to fine companies that hike the price of prescription drugs dramatically and allowing Medicare Part D to negotiate drug prices directly.
• Spend More on Infrastructure. The agenda also includes new investments in infrastructure, more technical training and a tax credit for employers that hire and train certain workers.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said the plan would help make the Democratic position more clear to voters, a nod to critics who argued the Democratic party lacked a clear economic message in the 2016 election.
“The number one thing that we did wrong is we didn’t tell people what we stood for,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer ABC News’ “This Week” on Sunday.
Even now, a majority of the country–52 percent–believe that Democrats don’t stand for anything other than resisting President Trump, according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll released last week.
On Monday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Schumer and fellow Democrats are scheduled to hold a press conference in Berryville, Virginia, to talk about their new plan. The town is in a district represented by Republican Rep. Barbara Comstock in a district Democrats hope to flip in the midterm elections.
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