Congressman Frank Pallone and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi rallied House Democrats to block the passage of legislation supported by President Trump that would allow terminally ill patients to try to extend their lives by using experimental drugs that have not been approved by the FDA.
President Trump called for the “right to try” legislation in his State of the Union Address. The U.S. Senate passed the bill unanimously and there is bi-partisan support for the bill in the House.
The bill was up for a ‘fast track’ vote in the House on Tuesday, which requires passage with votes from two-thirds of the chamber. The vote was 250 aye to 140 no, falling short of the two-thirds requirement.
Pallone and Pelosi whipped Democrat opposition to the bill on Tuesday prior to the vote.
“By defeating this bill tonight, we protected patients and supported FDA’s continued role in approving experimental treatments that may help save a patient’s life,” said Pallone.
Under the bill, the FDA would be notified if a terminally ill patient used an experimental drug and would be notified of poor outcomes.
Pallone and Pelosi whipped Democrat Members of the House on Tuesday to vote against the fast tracked bill.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California vowed to get the bill passed. “We will try again, pass legislation, and bring hope to those whose only desire is the right to try to live,” McCarthy said.