Dear Friend,

Happy fall! Here’s what Peter was up to in Congress last month.

Peter Takes on Big Pharmaceutical Companies Over Skyrocketing Drug Prices, Including Maker of EpiPen Allergy Drug

Last month, Peter demanded an oversight committee hearing to put a spotlight on Mylan’s pricing of Epipen, which is used in emergencies to treat severe allergic reactions. At the hearing, Peter described how Vermonters are facing an impossible dilemma: "they can pay more than they can afford or risk a loss they cannot endure.” He questioned Mylan CEO Heather Bresch about how the company can charge $608 for a product for which it pays about $30 to produce. His exchange with Ms. Bresch puts a bright light on America’s broken prescription drug pricing system. Here’s his exchange with the witness.

 Peter questions Mylan CEO Heather Bresch at an Oversight and Government Reform Hearing this month.

Also, Peter recently introduced a bipartisan bill with Congressman Morgan Griffith (R-VA) that would stop drug companies from overcharging hospitals in Vermont and other rural states. Peter told Vermont Digger that “Pharma companies have created a loophole, and they’re driving a Brink’s truck through it.”

House Passes Peter’s Bill to Improve Rural Phone Service

The House last month unanimously approved bipartisan legislation authored by Peter and Congressman David Young (R-IA) that will improve the quality and reliability of phone service in rural America. Peter introduced his bill after learning from Vermont small businesses, schools, and small telecommunication companies that calls were not connecting or were being dropped. Dakin Farm, a business that has struggled with the issue, testified before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce at Peter’s invitation.

Peter Wants to Know if #ExxonKnew

The American people have a right to know whether ExxonMobil had knowledge of the link between fossil fuels and climate change and whether it deliberately discredited the link. Peter, along with Congressman Ted Lieu (D-CA), held a press conference and wrote to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) urging it to investigate the oil giant to determine if it violated securities law by failing to disclose material risks related to climate change.

Wilder Resident Wins Our Animal-themed Facebook Photo Competition

Congratulations to Charlie Spina of Wilder, Vermont for his winning entry in Peter’s animal-themed photo contest. His stunning photo was featured on our website and social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Check out the full album of all the photo entries here, and be on the lookout for our next Facebook photo contest!

 Charlie’s photo, snapped in Pomfret, Vermont, received 177 likes.

Standing up Against Big Banks and Credit Card Companies for Main Street Business

Peter and Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) have worked side-by-side with small businesses in Vermont and across the country to cut exorbitant swipe fees charged by big banks and credit card companies. As they gear up for yet another battle, they wrote in a recent opinion piece posted on Medium.com, “We will make sure Congress and regulators know what is at stake…Main Street American consumers and businesses deserve nothing less.” You can read the full op-ed here.

The Future of Technology is the "Internet of Things"

From refrigerators that notify you when you’re out of milk, to agriculture sensors that give a farmer minute by minute updates on their crops, there are numerous emerging markets within the digital world known as the “Internet of Things.” Peter believes it is the engine that will power our economy for decades to come. That's why he joined with Representative Bob Latta (R-OH) in forming a House working group to examine the economic benefits of an industry expected to grow to $11 trillion by 2025. Last month, the House passed Peter’s bipartisan resolution outlining the potential benefits and challenges of the Internet of Things.