Today on the Hill: Lawmakers Strike Deal on USMCA

Congressional lawmakers have announced a deal that would bring highly anticipated United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) to the floor for consideration. Democratic leadership has been pushing for changes to the renegotiated trade agreement — particularly around the drug patent, labor, environment, and enforcement provisions — and is expected to call up implementing legislation for a vote on the floor as soon as next week. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner, and Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland reportedly will be in Mexico today to finalize details. 

On the floor, the House will consider a package of bipartisan bills (text; amendments) that seeks to protect vulnerable coastal and Great Lakes communities from climate change. The lower chamber will also take up two suspension bills, including: (1) a bill that would extend expiring provisions relating to the retransmission of signals of television broadcast stations; and (2) a measure that would reauthorize funding programs for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and other minority-serving institutions.

Meanwhile, Senators are set to vote on final passage of a bill that seeks to change the way that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the marketing of over-the-counter (OTC) medicines. The Over-the-Counter Monograph Safety, Innovation, and Reform Act would add new incentives and user fees— ranging from $100K to $500k — to the FDA’s process for approving drugs that do not require a prescription. In addition to S. 2740, the Senate will resume consideration of pending presidential nominations.