In the deal, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America agreed to $80 billion in revenue cuts for the drug sector over 10 years. PhRMA later pledged $150 million for advertising to support the health care law.
But the details of the deal — and others with industry players — were hazy, and some Democrats questioned whether they were bound by the terms.
Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) told Roll Call that Messina’s name was “the one that came up most consistently” in emails and other documents about the deals. Burgess is on the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.
Republicans said privately that focusing on Messina’s role will be an unneeded irritant for the man tasked with re-electing Obama in November.
Democrats quickly pounced on the video as further evidence that the GOP is using the investigation as a thinly veiled political attack six months before the presidential election.
An administration spokesman seized on the private remarks about how the allegations will distract Messina to argue the investigation is a “nakedly political” attack.
“Republicans stunningly concede it’s not serious and instead a nakedly political, taxpayer-funded crusade to hurt the president’s re-election campaign. This is the same House committee that has spent, according to one report, over $1 million in taxpayer dollars for the past 15 months looking into baseless allegations on Solyndra — but has done almost nothing to move legislation that would create jobs or grow the economy,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz said.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.