House Oversight Chairman Elijah E. Cummings lashed out Wednesday at the top Republican on the committee, accusing Rep. Jim Jordan of encouraging pharmaceutical companies to stonewall a legitimate congressional investigation.
Mr. Cummings is seeking detailed information from a dozen drug makers, including how they set prices and invest in research.
Mr. Jordan accused the top-ranking Democrat of “trying to divert attention” with his letter.
.@RepCummings is trying to divert attention from the classic Washington gaffe of telling the truth.— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) April 17, 2019
He bragged about affecting “stock prices with regard to drugs.” Congress should focus on lowering prescription drug prices, NOT on companies’ stock prices.
See for yourself: pic.twitter.com/vbLC46mRzg
While conceding Mr. Cummings has the power to make the request both Mr. Jordan of Ohio and fellow Republican Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina questioned the chairman’s motives and told companies to be wary of what might happen to data they do turn over.
Mr. Cummings said he was stunned a member of Congress would undermine a valid investigation.
“Your efforts to interfere with this investigation represent a new low for a member of this Committee,” the Maryland Democrat wrote in a rebuke to Mr. Jordan, the panel’s ranking Republican.
Mr. Cummings flatly denied Mr. Jordan’s accusation that his requests upended bipartisan cooperation that had gone on in previous Congresses, and he questioned the Ohio Republican’s motives.
“It is one thing to have an honest disagreement about the committee’s policy or approach — which would command respect — but it is quote another to actively obstruct an investigation in the service of placing corporate interests over those of the American people,” Mr. Cummings wrote.
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