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San Diego Congress members weigh in on social benefits package

Nancy Pelosi, Shontel Brown
J. Scott Applewhite
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, walks with Rep. Shontel Brown, D-Ohio, right, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021.

Congressional leaders have been debating the contents of a $1.75 trillion social benefits package.

While efforts to finalize the bills have hit snags over their ambitious scope, signs are emerging that Democrats may move to vote on the framework by the end of the week.

One of the most contentious points of negotiations has been provisions to cap drug prices for certain demographics.


Earlier this year Democratic Rep. Scott Peters had voted "no" on HR3, a House bill that sought to establish price control for certain pharmaceuticals.

While Peters has faced criticism for his prior no-vote, he recently said that provisions left in the final product of the social benefits package would address the issue.

“The relief we’re giving to seniors is exactly the same as in the original bill," Peters said. "We’re doing that while preserving the incentive to invest in all those cures that the private sector is working on in San Diego County — 68,000 jobs, 175,000 jobs indirectly dependent on life sciences.”

In addition, San Diego County’s sole Republican representative, Darrell Issa, offered strong criticism of the package.

“The multi-trillion spending mash-up is a completely moving target, the product of daily backroom drafting done by Democrats only,” Rep. Issa said in a statement.


Rep. Mike Levin, who represents parts of Northern San Diego and Southern Orange County, said that the climate spending portion of the package is of particular interest to his constituency.

"The $555 billion being proposed is several times greater than the largest investment we've ever made — it's so important for a coastal community like ours in Southern California," Levin said.

Levin spoke with Midday Edition on Thursday about what the area's residents could stand to benefit from the passage of the framework.