Health

Sanders seeks chairman of the Senate health committee

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is aiming for the top spot on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP), his spokesman said Thursday, as Democrats scramble to retain control of the Senate.

As leader of the committee that has jurisdiction over much of federal health policy, Sanders will have a platform to defend his progressive causes, including Medicare for All.

“As chairman of the committee, he will focus on universal health care, reducing the cost of prescription drugs, improving access to higher education and protecting workers’ rights at work,” said Sanders spokesman Mike. casca.

While progressive policies won’t gain traction in the GOP-controlled House, Sanders will still be able to hold hearings and give executives a headache.

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the current HELP chair, has said she will seek the Appropriations Committee’s gavel.

Earlier Thursday, Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) said he will take over next year as top Republican on the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, appointing Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) as the leading member of AID.

As a member of the Senate Health Committee, Paul regularly clashed with Anthony Fauci, the president’s chief medical adviser who became the face of the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While Cassidy is more bipartisan than Paul, it remains to be seen how closely he could work with a strong progressive like Sanders.

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