Fitzpatrick, Sinema to Introduce Legislation Restoring DEA’s Authority to Combat Opioid Epidemic
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) and Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) announced today they are drafting bipartisan legislation to ensure that the Drug Enforcement Administration has the authority to carry out needed enforcement actions for drug diversion control investigations.
The Restoring Enforcement Standards to Track Opioids Responsively and Effectively (RESTORE) Act of 2017 will repeal the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2016 – a law DEA Chief Administrative Law Judge John J. Mulrooney II described in the Marquette Law Review editorial board as “impos[ing] a dramatic diminution of the agency’s authority” … “at a time when, by all accounts, opioid abuse, addiction and deaths were increasing markedly.”
Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, vice-chair of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force & EMT:
“As the opioid epidemic continues to ravage communities across our nation – including those throughout Bucks and Montgomery counties – we need to be stepping up efforts to combat this crisis on all fronts, not tying one hand behind the back of those in law enforcement working to stem the tide. This legislation is about righting a wrong and upholding our commitment to keep our constituents safe. Moving forward, we must remember that any response to this challenge must treat the whole person, not just the addiction. We must continue to support law enforcement efforts while focusing on the underlying issues driving people to seek opioids and working to increasing the accessibility and affordability for prevention, education, treatment, and recovery of this disease.”
Rep. Kyrsten Sinema:
“The opioid crisis is tearing apart Arizona families and communities – and the dysfunction and corruption in Washington is only making it worse. We must stop overprescription and hold accountable those who irresponsibly and callously put their profits ahead of our families. Congress must immediately right this wrong, repeal this dangerous law, and work together on solutions that bring an end to this crisis.”
Fitzpatrick has made combatting the opioid epidemic a priority of his first term in Congress. He is the author of several pieces of bipartisan legislation aimed at combating the opioid and drug abuse epidemic, including:
Road to Recovery Act [H.R. 2938] - legislation eliminating the Medicaid Institutions for Mental Diseases (IMD) exclusion for substance use disorder and help states expand access to inpatient treatment for Medicaid enrollees. The policy has been endorsed by the National Association of Attorneys General and the President Trump's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis.
- INTERDICT Act [H.R. 2142] – legislation which would provide U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) the latest in chemical screening devices and scientific support to detect and intercept fentanyl and other synthetic opioids. The measure was recently included in the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force’s legislative agenda as well as mentioned in the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis’ interim report. It passed the House Committee on Homeland Security in September.
- Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Protection (STOP) Act [H.R. 1057] – legislation designed to help stop dangerous drugs like fentanyl and carfentanil from being shipped through our borders to drug traffickers here in the United States.