Opioids

Ryan: Congress Won’t Pass Tariff Legislation Trump Wouldn’t Sign
Speaker won’t definitively say deadline to complete NAFTA review has passed

Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., agreed with Rep. Trey Gowdy that the FBI acted properly using an informant on President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign to track possible Russian interference in the election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Speaker Paul D. Ryan on Wednesday signaled there’s no chance Congress will pass legislation to limit President Donald Trump’s authority to impose tariffs, despite Republican lawmakers disagreeing with recent actions the president has taken against U.S. allies.

“You’d have to pass a [bill] that he would want to sign into law and that would be what it would take,” the Wisconsin Republican told reporters. “And you can do the math on that.”

Congress’ Proposals on Opioids Aren’t Keeping Up with Epidemic
Reporter’s Notebook — An executive summary of our biggest stories, from the reporters themselves

Podcast: Opioid Legislation on Deck
CQ on Congress, Episode 101

Legislation to combat the nation's opioid crisis has moved through the Senate's Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee chaired by Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., who is with ranking member Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash.

Capitol Ink | Opioid Hill

Capitol-Ink-10-18-17

Obama Calls for Congressional Action on Criminal Justice Bill
Says more investment in opioid treatment will save money and lives

Sen. Michael S. Lee, R-Utah, speaks with Weldon Angelos last June. Angelos was sentenced to 55 years in jail for selling marijuana under mandatory minimum prison guidelines, but was released early. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Barack Obama said Congress could adopt measures to change sentencing laws, control guns and curb the opioid epidemic to continue an overhaul of the nation’s criminal justice system.

“There is so much work to be done,” Obama wrote in a Harvard Law Review article released Thursday by the White House. “Yet I remain hopeful that together, we are moving in the right direction.”

Opioid Epidemic Enters Funding Debate
Some Democrats said the GOP proposal was "smoke and mirrors"

From left, Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, have been fighting for money to combat the opioid epidemic. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's proposal to keep the government funded included one below-the-radar addition: funding to combat the opioid epidemic. While senators in both parties support addressing the issue, the move had some Democrats crying foul.

The Kentucky Republican unveiled last week a draft continuing resolution to fund the government through Dec. 9, after spending talks stalled between Senate leaders. His proposal included $37 million in annual funds for implementing the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, or CARA, which became law in July.

Lawmakers See Synthetics as Growing Drug Abuse Challenge
But actions raise concerns among drugmakers over legislative overreach

The musician Prince — seen here performing in Toronto in 2015 — died in April from what Minnesota officials said was an accidental overdose of self-administered fentanyl. (Cindy Ord/Getty Images for NPG Records 2015 File Photo)

Lawmakers are trying to draw attention to a rapidly emerging overdose crisis caused by synthetic drugs, less than two months after a bill to combat prescription opioid and heroin abuse was signed into law.

The opioid measure included provisions that make it easier for the government to prosecute drug traffickers, but synthetic drugs pose a different kind of challenge that wasn’t addressed in the legislation. While most drugs are on a list of controlled substances, synthetics can escape law enforcement scrutiny if the chemists who make them tweak their formulas slightly.

Ep. 21: Funding Feud, Political Plotting & Deadly Drugs
The Week Ahead

 

Three weeks before the government runs out of money, Congress has two options: a three-month extension of current spending favored by most lawmakers or a six-month fix pushed by a group of House conservatives, says CQ Roll Call’s Budget and Economics editor Jane Norman. Each option has political advantages and pitfalls, which CQ Roll Call’s senior editor David Hawkings spells out. On another front, soon after lawmakers passed a bill to deal with the epidemic of opioid abuse, they’re confronted with the dangerous presence of lab-made synthetic drugs like fentanyl, blamed for hundreds of overdoses, including that of music icon Prince.