Bills Collectively Address Opioid Epidemic, Pipeline Safety, Public Safety, and FCC Transparency
The Energy and Commerce Committee has scheduled a full committee markup on Tuesday, April 26, 2016, at 5 p.m. in room 2123 of the Rayburn House Office Building to consider a substantial number of bills. Members will convene for opening statements only on Tuesday and reconvene Wednesday, April 27, 2016 at 10 a.m. and Thursday, April 28, 2016, at 10 a.m.
The committee will consider 12 bills from the Subcommittee on Health, chaired by Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-PA), nearly all of which help address the opioid and drug abuse crisis facing our nation. Members will also consider 9 bills from the Communications and Technology Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), which seek to increase public safety and FCC transparency. Additionally, the committee will consider a bill from the Energy and Power Subcommittee, chaired by Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), the Pipeline Safety Act of 2016.
The following bills will be considered:
Bills advancing from the Health Subcommittee:
- H.R. 1818, the Veteran Emergency Medical Technician Support Act of 2015 – Authored by committee member Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), this legislation (which passed the House last Congress) would create a demonstration program to streamline emergency medical technician state requirements and procedures for veterans who have already completed military emergency medical technician training.
- H.R. 3250, the DXM Abuse Prevention Act of 2015 – Authored by committee member Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH), this legislation would prohibit the sale of a drug containing dextromethorphan (DXM) to an individual under 18, unless the individual has a prescription or is actively enrolled in the military and place restrictions on distribution of bulk DXM.
- H.R. 3680, the Co-Prescribing to Reduce Overdoses Act of 2015 – Authored by committee member Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD), this legislation would create a grant program for co- prescribing opioid reversal drugs for patients who are at a high risk of overdose.
- H.R. 3691, the Improving Treatment for Pregnant and Postpartum Women Act of 2015 – Authored by committee member Rep. Ben Lujan (D-NM), this legislation would reauthorize a residential treatment program that currently provides numerous services to aide pregnant women or postpartum women facing substance abuse.
- H.R. 4586, Lali’s Law – Authored by Rep. Bob Dold (R-IL) and Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA), this legislation would amend the Public Health Service Act to authorize grants to states for developing standing orders for naloxone prescriptions and educating health care professionals regarding the dispensing of opioid overdose reversal medication without person-specific prescriptions.
- H.R. 4599, the Reducing Unused Medications Act of 2016 – Authored by Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA) and Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH), this legislation would amend the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to clarify when a prescription for a drug listed on Schedule II of the CSA may be partially filled.
- H.R. 4641, to provide for the establishment of an inter-agency task force to review, modify, and update best practices for pain management and prescribing pain medication, and for other purposes – Authored by committee member Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN), this legislation would establish an inter-agency task force to review, modify, and update best practices for pain management and how pain medication is prescribed.
- H.R. 4969, the John Thomas Decker Act – Authored by Rep. Pat Meehan (R-PA), Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI), and Rep. Marc Veasey (D-TX), this legislation would amend the Public Health Service Act to direct HHS to study what information and resources are available to youth athletes and their families regarding the dangers of opioid use and abuse, non-opioid treatment options, and how to seek addiction treatment. HHS would then be required to report its findings and work with stakeholders to disseminate resources to students, parents, and those involved in treating a sports related injury.
- H.R. 4976, the Opioid Review Modernization Act – Authored by Rep. Sean Maloney (D-NY) and committee member Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ), this legislation would require the FDA to work closely with expert advisory committees before making critical product approval and labeling decisions, and to make recommendations regarding education programs for prescribers of extended-release and long-acting opioids.
- H.R. 4978, the Nurturing and Supporting Healthy Babies Act – Authored by Rep. Evan Jenkins (R-WV) and Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL), this legislation would require the Comptroller General of the United States to issue a report one year after enactment on neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS).
- H.R. 4981, the Opioid Use Disorder Treatment Expansion and Modernization Act – Authored by committee members Rep. Larry Bucshon, M.D. (R-IN) and Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY), this legislation would amend the Controlled Substances Act to expand access to medication-assisted treatment, while ensuring that patients receive the full array of quality evidence-based services and minimizing the potential for drug diversion.
- H.R. 4982, Examining Opioid Treatment Infrastructure Act of 2016 – Authored by Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL) and Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), this legislation would require the Comptroller General of the United States to issue a report to Congress on substance abuse treatment availability and infrastructure needs throughout the United States. This report shall include an evaluation of various substance abuse treatment settings including inpatient, outpatient, and detoxification programs.
Bills advancing from the Communications and Technology Subcommittee:
- H.R. 2031, Anti-Swatting Act of 2015, authored by committee member Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), would create enhanced penalties for those who use false or misleading caller ID information to trigger a response by law enforcement agencies, known as “swatters.”
- H.R. 2589, To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to require the Federal Communications Commission to publish on its Internet website changes to the rules of the Commission not later than 24 hours after adoption, authored by committee member Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC), would require the FCC to publish new rules on the same day that they are adopted.
- H.R. 2592, To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to require the Federal Communications Commission to publish on the website of the Commission documents to be voted on by the Commission, authored by committee member Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), would require the FCC to publish the draft of a rulemaking, order, report or any other action when it is circulated to the commissioners for a vote. The bill does not prevent the FCC from making changes to the item after it has been circulated, but allows the public to see what the chairman is proposing to the rest of the commission.
- H.R. 2593, To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to require identification and description on the website of the Federal Communications Commission of items to be decided on authority delegated by the Commission, authored by committee member Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH), would require the FCC to publish a list of items that are placed on delegated authority – that is, decided at the bureau level in lieu of a commission vote.
- H.R. 3998, Securing Access to Networks in Disasters Act, authored by Energy and Commerce Committee Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), would create requirements for mobile service providers during emergencies to ensure that consumers have access to networks during disasters, and requires the FCC and GAO to examine the resiliency of networks during these events. In addition, it amends the Stafford Act to ensure all categories of communications service providers may access disaster sites to restore service.
- H.R. 4111, Rural Health Care Connectivity Act of 2015, authored by committee member Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ), would allow skilled nursing facilities to apply for Universal Service funding for communications services used to provide health care in rural communities.
- H.R. 4167, Kari’s Law Act of 2015, authored by Louie Gohmert (R-TX), would require that any multi-line telephone system connects directly to 911 when dialed, even in instances where the phone requires the user to dial “9” to get an outside line.
- H.R. 4190, Spectrum Challenge Prize of 2015, authored by committee member Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA), would create a prize program through NTIA to award up to $5 million to participants who develop groundbreaking solutions to maximize spectrum efficiency.
- H.R. 4889, the Kelsey Smith Act, authored by Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS), would require telecommunications carriers to share location data if law enforcement believes that someone is in danger of death or serious harm.
Bill advancing from the Energy and Power Subcommittee:
- H.R.___, the Pipeline Safety Act of 2016, would modernize our pipeline safety laws by directing targeted mandates for PHMSA to increase transparency and accountability, complete overdue regulations, and improve safety.
An electronic copy of the bills can be found on the Energy and Commerce Committee’s website here. A background memo, amendments, and votes will be available at the same link as they are posted.