After the November election but before control of the Senate was determined, Burr raked in tens of thousands of dollars from Big Pharma and the health care industries – the very interests he would oversee as chairman of the HELP Committee
Today, the HELP Committee will host a hearing for Becerra, whose track record of taking on the pharmaceutical industry has made him a target for Senate Republican ire
Accountable Senate War Room: “Senator Burr has a track record of putting his Big Pharma and health care special interests ahead of the American people, so it’s no surprise that he would jump at the chance to start collecting checks from corporate donors the minute he saw the possibility to oversee the industry.”
Washington, D.C. – Today, Accountable Senate War Room released a report outlining Senator Richard Burr’s FEC filings and the alarming rate at which he accepted donations from the pharmaceutical and health care industries after the November election. If Republicans had maintained control of the Senate, Burr was slated to become the next chairman of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee. While future control of the Senate was unknown, Burr was accepting tens of thousands of dollars in donations from the pharmaceutical and health care industries — the very same industries he would have the jurisdiction to oversee. Today, the HELP Committee will hear from Xavier Becerra, a fierce advocate for patients and families who has taken on the pharmaceutical industry. Republicans are trying to sink his confirmation for their Big Pharma special interest donors.
“Senator Burr has a track record of putting Big Pharma and health care special interests ahead of the American people, so it’s no surprise that he would jump at the chance to start collecting checks from corporate donors the minute he saw the possibility to oversee the industry,” said Mairead Lynn, spokesperson for Accountable Senate War Room. “This speaks volumes to Burr’s worldview — he’d rather enrich himself and his corporate donors than give North Carolinians a fighting chance.”
According to 2020 FEC year-end filings, Burr accepted over $115,800 from PACs between October and December 2020. This is more than eight times what Burr accepted from PACs in the first three quarters combined. During Q4, Burr received nearly $25,000 from Big Pharma, the health care industry, and the financial sector, $15,000 of which was received after the 2020 election. After Democrats won both Georgia Senate runoff races and Burr became ranking member of the Senate HELP Committee, he immediately declared private sector innovation in the health care industry as his main priority, and introduced amendments that favored the biomedical industry. This is no surprise, considering the Senator has a track record for pay-to-play legislating. In fact, Burr has a reputation as being one of the health care industry’s “staunchest friends.” Burr has advocated for legislation that would benefit the health care industry, including his support for legislation that would “pump taxpayer money into private sector initiatives to address public health threats.”
Since just 2013, Burr has traded as much as $1.1 million worth of stock in medical manufacturing, including companies that make medical devices, equipment, supplies, and drugs. This is one of the many industries overseen by the HELP Committee on which Burr serves as ranking member. He “regularly flips health care stocks even as he pushes for legislation to help the industry.” Most recently, Burr was under federal investigation for dumping $1.7 million worth of stock ahead of the market crash due to the COVID-19 pandemic after receiving a classified Senate briefing on the matter. The American people cannot trust that Senator Burr will do the right thing because he has proven to only do what is best for his stock portfolio.