WASHINGTON – A congressional effort by Rep. Angie Craig to cap the out-of-pocket cost of insulin for insured people at $35 a month cleared the U.S. House on Thursday.

The House passed the bill on a 232-193 vote nearly a month after President Joe Biden publicly called for action on the issue during his first State of the Union address on March 1.

"This is one step that is going to make a huge difference in both the lives and the pocketbooks of just thousands of Minnesota families," Craig said in an interview. "But it's just one step, and I acknowledge and recognize that."

Minnesota's seven House members voted along party lines. Craig and Democratic representatives Betty McCollum, Dean Phillips and Ilhan Omar supported the bill, while GOP lawmakers Tom Emmer, Pete Stauber and Michelle Fischbach opposed it.

"This bill is just a partisan exercise that will only reshuffle the decks for how patients pay for insulin," Fischbach said during a House floor speech. "It is not a serious attempt to address rising prices."

An insulin cap was included in Democrats' stalled health, education and climate spending legislation that fell apart in the Senate last year.

With that larger bill blocked, Democrats could pivot to passing portions of the plan in smaller bills — like Thursday's effort — to get them to Biden's desk for his signature in the coming months before they risk losing their slim majorities in the House and Senate in November's midterm elections.

Republican Tyler Kistner, who lost to Craig in the swing district in 2020, is trying again to unseat her this year.

Despite Biden's support, the insulin legislation could face difficulties in the U.S. Senate. A Senate version of the bill is co-sponsored by Minnesota Democratic senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, but Republican votes will likely be needed to pass the cap into law.

"This legislation will help ensure that this life-saving medication is affordable for millions of Americans with diabetes who take insulin and their families," the Biden administration said in a statement supporting Craig's bill earlier this week.

While the bill does not apply to the uninsured, the statement added that the "Affordable Insulin Now Act would mean nearly all Americans with private health insurance or covered by Medicare do not have to spend thousands of dollars for this essential medication."

Hours before the vote Thursday, Craig said that "we cannot let Big Pharma continue to get away with gouging American consumers."

"I'm proud to be leading the charge on insulin," she said. "But I also believe that we've got to move forward on some other prescription drug and other health care reforms if we're going to truly get after the health care affordability crisis in our country."