U.S. Democrats unveiled an economic platform on Monday that includes plans to address unfair market competition, rising pharmaceutical costs and stagnant wages. Rough cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) U.S. Democrats unveiled an economic platform on Monday (July 24th) that included plans to address unfair market competition, rising pharmaceuticals costs and stagnant wages. Democrats proposed new standards that companies must meet to complete large mergers and enhanced post-merger reviews, singling out the airline, telecommunications, beer, food and eyeglass industries as areas of concern in the proposal dubbed "A Better Deal" for working Americans. Speaking at a press conference to unveil the new plan, Senator Chuck Schumer, the top Democrat in the U.S. Senate, accused Trump of running a populist election campaign and then abandoning working people for special interests once in the White House. "Democrats will show the country we are the party on the side of working people," said Schumer. The Democrats' platform is a move to regroup ahead of the 2018 midterm congressional elections, after Hillary Clinton's loss to Republican President Donald Trump in 2016. Republicans control both the House and the Senate. Accompanying Schumer was House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senators Elizabeth Warren, Chris Van Hollen and Amy Klobuchar, and Representatives Hakeem Jeffries and David Cicilline, among others. Warren said that the party would enforce competition laws so that ordinary Americans share in what she said was the country's continuing prosperity. "This is one step that Democrats are offering to take back our government," she said. Democrats want to create an independent government agency that would crack down on drug companies that raise prices excessively. They also want to allow Medicare, the government health insurance program for the elderly, to negotiate prices with manufacturers. Additionally, drug companies would need to justify big price hikes to the government. Democrats will also propose doubling federal support for apprenticeship programs, a tax credit for employers that hire and train workers that make a liveable wage, and encouraging partnerships between companies and public high schools and community colleges.