Washington, D.C.– Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) and Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) introduced legislation in the House today 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 2019 would repeal existing law that prevented the DEA from carrying out enforcement. This law from 2016 was described by 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.”

“The opioid crisis has affected every corner of the United States, robbing individuals of full and healthy lives,” said Fitzpatrick. “Federal intervention is needed to protect our communities, and the Drug Enforcement Administration must be given the authority to intervene when necessary without delay. I am proud to support this legislation with my fellow Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force, Annie Kuster, as we continue our push to combat the opioid crisis.”

“Granite Staters and folks nationwide are sadly no stranger to the devastation of the opioid epidemic,” said Kuster. “We must take a multifaceted approach in our response - in addition to bolstering prevention, treatment and recovery services we need to make sure law enforcement has all tools necessary to hold bad actors accountable. I am proud to advance this legislation with my fellow co-chair of the Bipartisan Opioid Task Force to keep our communities safe and prevent further tragedy.”

Earlier this month, at the request of Congressman Fitzpatrick, Senator Pat Toomey, and Senator Bob Casey, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) designated Bucks County as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA). The HIDTA designation grants Bucks County access to additional federal resources for the purposes of enhancing coordination among federal, state, and local law enforcement officials in drug prevention and control efforts.