Guest Commentary

Claire McCaskill: My track record of bipartisanship for Missourians

These days it seems like Washington D.C. is perpetually stuck — Republicans on one side and Democrats on the other — yelling at each other instead of getting things done. But while lots of folks are only focused on the drama, there are some of us in the middle who are working across the aisle to make progress. It’s there — smack dab in the middle, where I’ve always been — that I’ve been working to get real results for Missouri.

Take, for example, the issue of skyrocketing prescription drug prices. Sen. Susan Collins, a Republican, and I saw a problem that we could fix if we worked together. So we did. We got past the gridlock and wrote bipartisan legislation to increase competition and help bring down prescription drug prices.

When I heard the story of Arla Harrell — a Missouri World War II veteran intentionally exposed to mustard gas by our government and then denied his VA benefits — I wasn’t about to let partisanship get in the way. I had to get to work for Arla, and all of our veterans, to make sure they got the benefits they earned and deserved. It took two years, but by teaming up with Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson, we finally got Arla — and hundreds of veterans like him — their benefits.

By focusing on the issues, being willing to listen, negotiate and work together, we can get things done.

Recently, I heard from a young woman who couldn’t believe that she was missing out on savings on a prescription because she didn’t know that it was cheaper to pay out of pocket instead of using her insurance. Pharmacists weren’t able to tell her because of a misguided gag clause that prevented them from helping her unless she explicitly asked.

I knew that wasn’t right, and my Republican colleagues agreed. Together, we passed legislation to make sure Missourians would get all the information they needed at the pharmacy, and President Donald Trump signed it into law. It wasn’t about the D or R behind your name. It was about working together to get the best possible results for Missourians.

I will never stop working across the aisle to get results for Missouri’s families. I’m not afraid to use the word “compromise.” And I will work with anyone — from either party — to get things done.

You’ve seen me go to the mat for our veterans and stand up to the big pharmaceutical companies who are now openly rooting for my defeat. If re-elected, I will continue to hold these drug companies accountable — for you.

We may not agree on everything, but I will always work hard for you, your families and the state I love.

If you want someone who’s a rigid partisan and thinks compromise is a dirty word, then my challenger, Attorney General Josh Hawley, is your man. But if you want someone who knows there is so much that we all agree on if we just focus on listening and working together on solving really hard, complicated problems that your families face, then I would be honored to have your support.

Claire McCaskill represents Missouri in the U.S. Senate.