Bill Introduced to Lower Prescription Drug Prices

Senate progressives have introduced legislation designed to drastically reduce the cost of prescription drugs in the United States.

The legislation would allow the Health and Human Services secretary to align prescription drug prices with the median price in five industrialized countries, as well as allowing the secretary to negotiate for lower prices.

Additionally, the bill would give Americans the option of importing lower-cost medications from Canada and other nations.

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Canadian Land Protectors Arrested

First Nations protesters fighting the construction of the $4.7 billion Coastal GasLink pipeline were arrested during raids Monday.

The Wet’suwet’en land defenders had set up two checkpoints to physically block pipeline workers from entering the area, which police managed to breach Monday.

At least 14 arrests were reported in addition to reports of indigenous leaders being blocked from entering their territory.

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Tornillo Tent Camp Targeted by Activists

Immigrant rights activists in Texas have shut down the entrance of the Tornillo tent camp that is currently detaining several thousand immigrant youth.

The group of activists has been organizing for the past two weeks around the tent camp under the banner, “Christmas in Tornillo.”

The Tornillo detention center, which is operated by Baptist Child and Family Services, has been a focus of immigrant and human rights activists as well as health professionals, and is expected to close sometime this month.

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Goodlatte’s Shame

Outgoing Republican Congressmember Bob Goodlatte blocked a bill designed to improve federal response to missing and murdered indigenous women.

Despite the fact that the bill was unanimously passed in the Senate earlier this month, Goodlatte’s status as chair of the Judiciary Committe enabled him to block the vote in the House, effectively killing the bill.

The legislation was sponsored by Senator Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, who is also leaving office. Her reelection bid was hampered by legislation restricting the Native American vote, which comprised a large part of Heitkamp’s base.

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President Lies to Troops About Pay Increase

During a surprise visit to the troops after Christmas, the president lied to them about a pay raise that he hasn’t given them.

Once again, the president lied to our soldiers and told them that he had secured a 10% pay increase for them, and that it was their first pay-raise in more than a decade.

The truth? Military pay has increased every year for more than 30 years, and the 2.6% increase set forth in the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act is the largest in the last 9 years.

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Lynching Finally Designated as a Federal Crime

Yesterday, the Justice for Victims of Lynching Act was passed unanimously in the House of Representatives.

Americans across the country have been fighting for legislation explicitly criminalizing the act of lynching for the better part of the last century.

On Wednesday, just such a bill — introduced by the Senate’s three black senators — finally passed in the Senate.

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All Asylum Seekers to Stay in Mexico

The Trump administration has announced that all asylum seekers attempting to enter the country through the southern border will be kept in Mexico while their claim is processed.

The policy will apply to all asylum seekers regardless of whether Mexico is their country of origin or not.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen indicated that part of the reasoning behind the policy has to do with the Flores settlement, which prevents the U.S. government from detaining children for an extended period of time.

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