Capitol Edge: Pfizer, medals of honor, and the Supreme Court

WASHINGTON (MEDIA GENERAL) – Fighting with drug companies, medals of honor, and the U.S. Supreme Court are each part of this week’s Capitol Edge.

Pfizer

“It’s time for our government to say enough is enough,” Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) said at a news conference Thursday. She along with some other members of Congress went on the offensive against pharmaceutical giant Pfizer.

The company could be able to avoid paying an estimated $35 billion in taxes claiming its home in another country.

“They reap the benefits that this country has to offer while they claim to be another nationality when that tax bill arrives,” DeLauro said.

Pfizer said in a statement their decision to merge with a European company, moving their headquarters to Ireland, is about improving their disease research worldwide.

Guantanamo Bay

President Obama made one last plea for Congress to work with him to shut down Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba. He wants a panel to review the remaining prisoners, and work to send the ones that can be charged to prison in the United States.

“The plan we’re submitting is not only good for our security. It will also save money,” Obama said in a news conference Tuesday.

South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham called the plan a joke. Congress is not expected to change the law to allow Obama to transfer prisoners into the U.S.

Heroes Honored

Lawmakers awarded the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor to the foot soldiers of the Civil Rights Movement in 1965. Rev. Frederick Reese and Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) attended the ceremony in Emancipation Hall at the Capitol Visitors Center.

The entire Congressional leadership showed up to honor those who marched, died, and protested for the right to vote.

High Court Battle

“The Judiciary Committee has unanimously recommended that there be no hearings – I agree with that,” Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said at his regular news conference Tuesday. McConnell, along with Judiciary Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), want to wait until the next president is elected before they fill Associate Justice Antonin Scalia’s spot on the Supreme Court.

Senate Republicans will meet with President Obama next week.

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