House Opioid Bills are Right on Schedule
Earlier this month, I announced that House committees would craft legislation to fight the opioid epidemic in April so we could vote in May—and I’m happy to announce we’re right on track.
Today, the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Judiciary Committee are marking up over a dozen bills to address the growing problem of opioids in America. This is on top of other bills, one of which has already been marked up by the House Committee on Veterans Affairs and others that will be marked up by the Education and Workforce Committee next week.
Markup is one of the last steps committees take before the House considers legislation on the floor, and all these committees have been hard at work on effective solutions that will prevent opioid addiction and treat those already suffering.
Below is the legislation going through committee today that I hope will reach bicameral and bipartisan consensus and be signed into law:
- H.R. 4641 by Representative Susan Brooks (IN-05) will help develop the best practices for the use of prescription opioids to prevent lawful prescription use from becoming addictive.
- H.R. 3250 by Representative Bill Johnson (OH-06) will ban the sale of drugs containing dextromethorphan (DXM) to those under 18, reducing the risk of youth opioid addiction.
- H.R. 4978 by Representative Evan Jenkins (WV-03) will require the Comptroller General of the United States to issue a report on neonatal abstinence system to determine how effectively current programs are helping babies suffering withdrawal.
- Representatives Larry Bucshon (IN-08) and Paul Tonko (NY-20) are working on an agreement to allow physicians to treat more opioid addicted patients with buprenorphine, which will help reduce opioid addiction.
- H.R. 3680 by Representative John Sarbanes (MD-03) will authorize grants for co-prescribing opioid reversal drugs to those patients with a high risk of overdose, saving lives by improving our ability to stop opioid overdoses.
- H.R. 3691 by Representative Ray Lujan (NM-03) will authorize a pilot program for state substance abuse agencies to flexibly use funding to help pregnant and postpartum women with a substance abuse disorders, helping women and their infant children who face the hardship of addiction.
- H.R. 4599 by Representative Catherine Clark (MA-05) will allow prescriptions to only be partially fulfilled by a pharmacist—at the request of the doctor—to limit the number of prescription opioids available.
- H.R. 1818 by Representative Adam Kinzinger (IL-16) will streamline the procedures for veterans with emergency medical training to become civilian emergency medical technicians, increasing the number of medical first responders to help those at risk of overdose.
- H.R. 4586, known as Lali’s Law, by Representative Robert Dold (IL-10) will improve the dispensation of opioid overdose reversal medication.
- H.R. 4969 by Representative Patrick Meehan (PA-07) will improve information and materials available to teenagers and adolescents injured in sports who are at risk opioid addiction.
- H.R. 4976 by Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) will task the FDA to make an action plan on how to deal with the opioid epidemic.
- Representatives Frank Pallone (NJ-06) and Bill Foster (IL-11) have a bill requiring the Comptroller General to issue a report to Congress on substance abuse treatment availability and infrastructure needs across the United States.
- H.R. 3380 by Representative Tom Marino (PA-10) will make it easier for law enforcement officials to identify and target traffickers, reducing the flow of opioids like heroin into the United States.
- H.R. 4985 by Representative John Katko (NY-24) will improve our ability to prosecute drug kingpins by protecting classified information.
Next week, our House committees will be marking up even more bills, but the above list shows what the House is focusing on: improving drug-use prevention, stopping the opioid trade at its source, and helping those most at risk. House committees will continue to improve these bills and more, and I look forward to scheduling them on the floor as soon as possible next month.