Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) told Breitbart News during a press conference Tuesday that President Donald Trump has been the “ultimate force” behind Republicans embracing “kitchen-table” issues such as drug pricing, paid family leave, and the opioid epidemic.

Cassidy, one of the Senate’s foremost experts on health care, told Breitbart News during a press conference Tuesday that Trump has been the driving force behind the GOP embracing many popular “kitchen-table” issues.

Sen. Cassidy held a press conference Tuesday on his various healthcare bills, including the Stop Surprise Medical Bills Act, which has 21 co-sponsors, or over one-fifth of the Senate sponsoring his legislation.

Along with his legislation on surprise medical bills, Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) tapped Cassidy and Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) to form a bipartisan working group on paid family leave, making Sen. Cassidy one of the leaders of Trump’s more populist issues.

The Louisiana senator said that Trump won the 2016 presidential election because more people believed that he cared about the average American’s plight more than Hillary Clinton. Cassidy cited that Trump has pushed for action on popular issues such as the opioid crisis, and paid family leave.

“President Trump won because people were more convinced that he cared more about kitchen table issues than Hillary Clinton. That is clear,” Sen. Cassidy told Breitbart News. “If you take the total deaths from opioids above a certain level– he won every county that had deaths from opioids from a certain level. That is the ultimate kitchen table issue.”

White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump, Sen. Cassidy, as well as other GOP senators such as Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), have moved to push for a paid family leave policy, which would make it easier to young families have more resources when they decide to start a family.

“He has been the ultimate force. Ivanka Trump has been working with us on paid family leave. On the drug pricing, he has said he wants drug prices down, opioids, he wished to have addressed. But I think that the president has been the driving force behind this emphasis,” Cassidy said.

Cassidy said that they have seen movement on these issues and hope to continue to make progress with the president’s input.

“For Republicans, I think we’re having success at least at getting things tee’d up if not, all the way through yet because of his interest,” Sen. Cassidy added.

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.

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