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White House says Trump meeting with Cummings over drug prices still in the works

White House says Trump meeting with Cummings over drug prices still in the works
Congressman Elijah Cumming (Elizabeth Malby /)

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Tuesday reiterated President Trump's intention to meet with Rep. Elijah E. Cummings about the cost of prescription drugs.

The Baltimore congressman had used two national television appearances -- on programs Trump frequently watches -- to call for the meeting about the rising price of medication. The president called Cummings last week to extend an invitation to meet.

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Trump met with pharmaceutical executives at the White House on Tuesday, and said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration would speed drug approvals. He also encouraged company leaders to reduce prices.

"So what I want, we have to get lower prices, we have to get even better innovation and I want you to move your companies back into the United States," Trump said. "And I want you to manufacture in the United States. We're going to be lowering taxes, we're going to be getting rid of regulations that are unnecessary."

Spicer said that Cummings, who has focused on the issue for years as the ranking Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, had been invited to the meeting on Tuesday. Both Spicer and an aide to Cummings said the congressman had a scheduling conflict and that planning for the meeting is still in the works.

"We're looking to get it back on the books," Spicer said, adding that he expected it would be a one-on-one meeting.

A Cummings aide said the congressman had a conflict because of responsibilities on the Oversight Committee. Cummings, the aide said, has been working with Sen. Bernie Sanders to finalize a legislative proposal on the issue of prescription drugs this week.

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