The House and Senate are both in session this week.
The House will be working on a number of bills related to opioid abuse. The bills increase the involvement of the federal government in addressing public health problems and follow the establishment formula of promoting grant programs and bolstering the bureaucracy.
- H.R. 4586, Lali's Law, introduced by Rep. Bob Dold (R-Ill.). This legislation “creates a competitive grant program that will help states increase access to naloxone. The primary purpose of the grant is to fund state programs that allow pharmacists to distribute naloxone without a prescription. Many states use these programs to allow local law enforcement officers to carry and use naloxone.”
- H.R. 4641, introduced by Rep. Susan Brooks (R-Ind.). This legislation establishes “an inter-agency task force to review, modify, and update best practices for pain management and prescribing pain medication.”
- H.R. 5046, the Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Reduction Act of 2016 introduced by Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.). The bill would set up “a comprehensive opioid abuse reduction program at the Department of Justice, which will direct federal resources for drug abuse programs directly at the opioid problem.”
Later this week, chairman of the House Resources Committee Rep. Rob Bishop (R.-Utah) is expected to release another version of draft legislation to address the Puerto Rico fiscal crisis.
This week, the Senate will continue to focus on the appropriations process:
- The Senate will continue to try and pass the Energy and Water appropriations bill. As the Congressional Research Service explains, “[t]he Energy and Water Development appropriations bill provides funding for civil works projects of the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), for the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation), the Department of Energy (DOE), and several independent agencies.”
- Both Senate and House leaders are looking for how to provide additional funding for the Zika virus response. Some conservatives are calling for offsets to the additional Zika funding request so as not to increase federal spending.