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NIDA

Congressional Affairs, May 2018

Prepared May 7, 2018

Hearings, Briefings, Meetings

(Not included here are the several hearings, markups and briefings in which NIDA played no direct role.)

2/9 – Fentanyl Dr. Volkow provided a briefing to staff from the offices of Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA), Sheldon Whitehouse, (RI) and Representative Anne Kuster (NH).

2/14 – Synthetic Drugs and scheduling issues – Geoff Laredo represented NIDA as part of an HHS team briefing staff from the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

3/6 – Opioids – Dr. Volkow attended, with Drs. Collins and Koroshetz, a “listening session” hosted by the House Committee on Ways and Means.

4/2-4 – Opioids – Dr. Volkow attended and provided plenary remarks at the annual National Prescription Drugs and Heroin Summit.  As part of the meeting, she had the opportunity to meet with several members of Congress.

4/11Opioids, Marijuana, Schedule 1 research Dr. Volkow accompanied Dr. Collins to the NIH appropriations hearing in front of the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education.  She had several opportunities to respond to questions focused on drug use and addiction research.  Most questions focused on opioids issues.

Legislation of Interest

There has been significant activity in both the House and the Senate to advance large numbers of bills and discussion drafts of bills addressing many aspects of the opioid crisis, including prevention, treatment, law enforcement, Medicare/Medicaid, FDA authority, and medications development. In the House, a set of 64 bills was marked up by the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee on April 25, and the full committee chairman has indicated a desire to send legislation to the House floor by Memorial Day weekend. Full committee markups are expected in May.  In the Senate, the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee voted on April 24 to advance S. 2680 Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018 for a Senate floor vote to possibly take place this summer. This bill combines over 40 proposals, and will likely be combined with bills from other Senate committees before a final vote.

Of note for NIH is legislation to expand authority to use transactions other than a grant, cooperative agreement, or contract to conduct cutting edge research, including research on innovative, non-addictive pain medicines (H.R. 5002, ACE Research Act, Sec. 201 of S. 2680 Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018). Additionally, Sec. 202 of S. 2680 modifies the activities of the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee. 

House Energy and Commerce Committee bills (Health Subcommittee Markup, 4/25/18)

Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee package (advanced by committee 4/24/18)

  • S. 2680 – Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018

Other Legislation of Interest

  • H.R. 2851 – Stop the Importation and Trafficking of Synthetic Analogues Act of 2017 (SITSA Act)
  • S. 1327 – Stop the Importation and Trafficking of Synthetic Analogues Act of 2017 (SITSA Act)
  • S. 2635 – Ending the Fentanyl Crisis Act of 2018
  • S. 2481 – Stop Trafficking in Fentanyl Act of 2018
  • S. 207 – Synthetic Abuse and Labeling of Toxic Substances Act of 2017 (SALTS Act)
  • S. 2710 – Protecting Moms and Infants Act

There are also many marijuana focused bills still pending in the Congress.

  • H.R.331 States’ Medical Marijuana Property Rights Protection Act
  • H.R.714 – Legitimate Use of Medicinal Marihuana Act
  • H.R.715 – Compassionate Access Act
  • H.R.975 – Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2017
  • H.R.1227 – Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017
  • H.R.1810 – Small Business Tax Equity Act of 2017 and S.777 – Small Business Tax Equity Act of 2017
  • H.R.1820 – Veterans Equal Access Act
  • H.R.1823 – Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act
  • H.R.1824 – Responsibly Addressing the Marijuana Policy Gap Act of 2017
  • H.R.1841 – Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act
  • H.R.2020 – To provide for the rescheduling of marijuana into schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act
  • H.R.2273 – Charlotte’s Web Medical Access Act of 2017
  • H.R.3252 – Second Chance for Students Act
  • H.R.3391  – Medical Marijuana Research Act of 2017
  • H.R.3534 – State Marijuana and Regulatory Tolerance Enforcement Act
  • H.R.4408, H.R.3964, S.892 – Opioid Addiction Prevention Act of 2017
  • H.R.4815 – Marijuana Justice Act of 2018 and S.1689 — Marijuana Justice Act of 2017
  • H.R.4816 – Stop Civil Asset Forfeiture Funding for Marijuana Suppression Act of 2018
  • H.R.4825 – MEDS Act and S.1803 -- MEDS Act
  • H.R. 5634 – To increase the number of manufacturers registered under the Controlled Substances Act to manufacture cannabis for legitimate research purposes, to authorize health care providers of the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide recommendations to veterans regarding participation in federally-approved cannabis clinical trials, and for other purposes
  • S.776 – Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act
  • S.780  – Responsibly Addressing the Marijuana Policy Gap Act of 2017
  • S.1008 – Therapeutic Hemp Medical Access Act of 2017
  • S.1276 – Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act
  • S.1374 and S.1764 and H.R.2920 – Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act of 2017