With the support of a few dozen Democrats, Congressional Republicans notched a pair of legislative victories for President Donald Trump on Tuesday in the U.S. House, giving final approval to a plan to roll back certain regulations on smaller banking institutions, as well as voting out a bill to help terminally-ill Americans seek new medicines and treatments.
Known as the "Right to Try" legislation, that measure would open new avenues to experimental drugs for those people who have found no cure for a life threatening disease or medical condition.
"As President Trump said in his State of the Union Address this year, every terminally-ill patient should have the right to try innovative drugs that could save their lives," said Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA).
"Almost forty states have passed their own versions of this important legislation, and we look forward to addressing this at the Federal level," the White House said in a statement.
"Americans deserve the chance to fight for their lives," said Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), as he praised the plan which allows terminally-ill patients access to medicine that has been approved by federal regulators, but might not be available yet to the general public.
"Americans and their loved ones deserve the chance to fight for their lives," Goodlatte added.
The "Right to Try" vote came just before the House approved another bill from the Senate, which eases some financial regulations enacted under the Dodd-Frank law, as 33 Democrats joined with Republicans to ease restrictions on smaller banks.
For Republicans, it was part of a pre-Memorial Day flurry of legislative advances, as the House also approved a prison reform bill backed by the White House.
Before leaving town on Thursday, the House is expected to approve a major defense policy bill, and may take another shot at voting on a farm policy measure - that bill failed last week in an internal GOP dispute over how best to deal with immigration legislation.
Both the defense and farm plans would still need action in the Senate.
Meanwhile, the Senate on Wednesday is expected to send the President another bill on veterans medical care; the Senate voted 91-4 on Tuesday to shut off debate on the measure.
"There is nothing less we need to ask of ourselves than to see to it they have the healthcare benefits we’ve promised veterans for so long,” said Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA), as the bill would make a number of new changes in medical care efforts for veterans, which have been plagued by internal troubles for years.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.