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Director's Report to the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse - February, 2005



Congressional Affairs (Prepared February 7, 2005)

APPROPRIATIONS FY 2005

The fiscal year 2005 spending bill for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, which includes funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), cleared the Senate on November 20, 2004, as part of the year-end omnibus appropriations package (HR 4818). The President signed the bill December 8, 2004. [PL 108-447]

The House passed its version of the bill in September with $142.5 billion in discretionary spending. It proposed increases of $727 million for the NIH, mirroring the Administration's request. The Senate Appropriations Committee approved a more generous measure that included $2.8 billion more than the House bill, mainly for Title I, NIH and other health and education programs. The Senate Appropriations Committee recommended an appropriation of $1,026,200,000 for the NIDA. The President's request was $1,019,060,000. The fiscal year 2004 appropriation was $990,953,000.

The final bill provided $28.6 billion for NIH, a 3 percent increase over fiscal 2004 and about the same as the Administration and the House wanted but $300 million less than in the Senate bill. All figures are subject to the government wide 0.83% reduction (by contrast, last year's was 0.59%). NIH also is subject to a 2.4% Public Health Service Program Evaluation Transfer tap, which is a 0.2% increase over last year. The effect of these reductions is that the gross FY 2005 appropriations increase for NIH of about $800 million becomes a net increase of about $612 million. The total NIH appropriation will be about $27.9 billion, rather than the $28.5 billion shown in the congressional gross NIH budget tables. NIDA originally received an increase of 2.4 percent, but after the across the board cut and Labor/HHS/ED rescission, the final 2005 appropriations figure for NIDA is $1,006,419, a 1.6 percent increase over 2004.

108TH CONGRESS - Public Laws of interest
[For the full text and additional information about any law or bill, go to the Library of Congress website at http://thomas.loc.gov]

HR 5213 (PL 108-427) The Research Review Act of 2004 was introduced October 5, 2004, by Representative Bilirakis (R-FL). The bill expands research information regarding multidisciplinary research projects and epidemiological studies. It was signed by the President on November 30, 2004.

S 1194 (PL 108-414) The Mentally Ill Offender Treatment and Crime Reduction Act of 2004 was introduced by Senator DeWine (R-Ohio) on June 5, 2004 [A companion measure, HR 2387, was introduced June 5, 2003 by Rep. Strickland (D-Ohio)]. It was signed by the President on October 30, 2004. The measure is intended to facilitate collaboration among the criminal justice, juvenile justice, mental health treatment, and substance abuse systems to improve public safety. It will establish grants of up to $75,000 to create and expand mental health courts and programs that offer specialized training to officers and employees of criminal and juvenile justice agencies to identify mental illness. As amended, it would authorize $50 million for 2005 and such sums as are necessary for fiscal 2006 through 2009.

S 2195 (PL 108-647) The "Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2004," was introduced to amend the Controlled Substances Act to clarify the definition of anabolic steroids and to provide for research and education activities relating to steroids and steroid precursors. Introduced by Senator Biden (D-DE) on March 11, 2004, the bill was a companion bill to HR 3866. The Senate passed S 2195 by unanimous consent on October 6, 2004, and the House cleared it October 8, 2004, by voice vote. It was signed into law on October 22, 2004.

S 2195 expands the types of steroids banned for general distribution under federal law. The law classifies as a controlled substance any product "chemically and pharmacologically related to testosterone" with exception of estrogens, progestins, corticosteroids, and dehydroepiandrosterone. The law outlines more than 50 specific substances that qualify a product for controlled substance status. The law authorizes $90 million over six years beginning in fiscal 2005 for the DHHS to conduct education programs in elementary and secondary schools to highlight the harmful effects of anabolic steroids. The law also authorizes $6 million over six years beginning in fiscal 2005 for HHS to conduct a survey on the use of anabolic steroids. One supplement targeted by the bill is androstenedione, known as "andro." The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) barred this particular steroid precursor from sale on March 11, 2004.

Of particular interest, the new law enables the Secretary of Health and Human services to award grants to public and nonprofit private entities to enable them to carry out science-based education programs in elementary and secondary schools to highlight the harmful effects of anabolic steroids. In awarding these grants, HHS is to give preference to applicants that intend to use grant funds to carry out programs based on the Athletes Training and Learning to Avoid Steroids (ATLAS) program; the Athletes Targeting Healthy Exercise and Nutrition Alternatives (ATHENA) program, and other programs determined to be effective by the NIDA.

108TH CONGRESS - Other bills of interest

NIDA staff will monitor Congressional activity to keep abreast of whether any of these bills are re-introduced in the 109th Congress.

HR 2086 - On May 14, 2003, Representative Souder (R-IN) introduced HR 2086, the Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 2003. The bill was referred to House Energy and Commerce, House Government Reform, House Judiciary, House Select Intelligence, Senate Judiciary Committees. On September 30, 2003, the measure, as amended, passed in the House by voice vote, under suspension of the rules (two-thirds vote required). On October 1, 2003, it was received in the Senate and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. No further action. (Related Bills: S1860).

HR 2256 - On May 22, 2003, Representative Ramstad (R-MN) introduced HR 2256, the Help Expand Access to Recovery and Treatment (HEART) Act of 2003. This bill would amend the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, Public Health Service Act, and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide parity with respect to substance abuse treatment benefits under group health plans and health insurance coverage. The bill was referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Ways and Means Committee, and Education and the Workforce Committee. There was no further action after committee referrals. The companion bill in the Senate was S.1138, introduced on May 22, 2003 by Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN). That bill was referred to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, with no further action.

HR 3634 - On November 21, 2003, Representative Souder (R-IN) introduced HR 3634, a measure similar to S 1887. Both bills would have amended the Controlled Substance Act to lift the patient limitation on prescribing drug addiction treatments by medical practitioners in group practices. The House bill was referred to the House Energy and Commerce and the House Judiciary Committees. No further action.

HR 3866 - On March 1, 2004, Judiciary Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., (R-WI) introduced H.R. 3866,"the Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2004." H.R. 3866 passed the House on June 3, 2004, by a vote of 408-3. The measure went to the Senate, where a similar bill (S. 2195) was pending before the Judiciary Committee. No further action. Related bills: S1780, S2195 [PL 108-647]

HR 3922, the "Drug-Impaired Driving Enforcement Act of 2004," introduced by Representative Portman (R-OH). The bill would have provided assistance and guidance to states to address the growing problem of drug-impaired driving, including offering model legislation and grants to states to enforce the law. The bill called on the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to develop a model state drug impaired driving law that would in part call for evaluation, counseling, treatment, and supervision for persons convicted; enhance training of police; fund research to develop field tests to identify drug-impaired drivers. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Transportation and Committee on Judiciary. No further action.

HR 4883 - On July 21, 2004, Representative Graves (R-MO) introduced H.R. 4883, "the Terrorism Against Animal-Use Entities Prohibition Improvement Act of 2004." Provisions would have amended the Animal Enterprise Protection Act by including economic disruption of an animal enterprise as an offense. It also increases fines and prison terms for certain offenses. Additionally, the bill included a wiretapping provision. The bill was introduced with no co-sponsors and was referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary. No further action.

HR 4888/S 2718 - On July 21, 2004, Representative Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and four bipartisan colleagues introduced H.R. 4888, "the Sober Truth on Preventing Underage Drinking Act." On July 22, 2004, Senators Mike DeWine (R-OH) and Chris Dodd (D-CT) introduced an identical bill, S. 2718. Title II, Section 201 of the legislation would create an Interagency Committee, which would include NIAAA and NIDA, focused on underage drinking. H.R. 4888 was referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. S. 2718 was referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. No further action.

HR 5429 - On December 6, 2004, Representative Mark Souder (R-IN) introduced the Safe and Effective Drug Act, a bill to require the National Institute on Drug Abuse to develop a meta-analysis of the available scientific data regarding the safety and health risks of smoking marijuana and the clinically-proven effectiveness of smoking marijuana for medicinal purposes, and to require the Food and Drug Administration to promptly disseminate the meta-analysis. The bill was referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

S 1780, the "Anabolic Steroid Control Act of 2003," is a bill to amend the Controlled Substances Act to clarify the definition of anabolic steroids and to provide for research and education activities relating to steroids and steroid precursors. It was introduced October 23, 2003, by Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE). The bill was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. No further action. [Related bills: HR 3866 and S 2195 (PL 108-647)].

S 1860 - On November 14, 2003, S 1860, the "Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 2003," was introduced in the Senate by Senator Hatch, R-Utah. The measure was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. No further action. (Related bills: HR 2086).

S 1887 - On November 18, 2003, Senator Hatch (R-UT), with Senators Biden (D-DE) and Levin (D-MI) introduced S 1887, a bill to amend the Controlled Substances Act to lift the patient limitation on prescribing drug addiction treatments by medical practitioners in group practices. The Senate bill was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. No further action. (Related bills: HR 3634). (See S. 45 in the 109th Congress, below.)

S 2741 - On July 22, 2004, Senator Tom Daschle (D-SD) introduced S. 2741,"the Advancing FASD Research, Prevention, and Services Act," to extend the Fetal Alcohol Syndrome prevention and services program. The bill would require the Director of NIH to establish a research agenda for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) involving award grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements. S. 2741 was referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. No further action.

109th Congress - Bills of Interest

S. 45 - On January 24, 2005, Senator Carl Levin (D-MI), with Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Joe Biden (D-DE) introduced S. 45, to amend the Controlled Substances Act to lift the patient limitation on prescribing drug addiction treatments by medical practitioners in group practices, and for other purposes. The bill has been referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. (This is a reintroduction of S.1887 from the 108th Congress).

Note: Several methamphetamine-related bills have been introduced. All focus completely or mostly on the law enforcement aspects of this problem.

109th Congress - Committees of Jurisdiction

Several different Senate and House committees hold some jurisdiction over NIDA's work, or on other organizations (e.g. Office of National Drug Control Policy) important to NIDA's work.

Senate: In the Senate, primary focus has traditionally been on the

  • Committee on Appropriations (Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education; and Subcommittee on Transportation, Treasury and General Government);
  • Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP)(and most recently the Subcommittee on Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services);
  • Committee on the Judiciary (Subcommittee on Crime, Corrections, and Victims' Rights); and the
  • Caucus on International Narcotics Control (this is an officially recognized Caucus, established by law in 1985).

The HELP Committee has seen significant change, in membership and subcommittee structure. HELP Committee members, 109th Congress:

Mike Enzi (R-WY), Chair
Edward Kennedy (D-MA), Ranking Member
Judd Gregg (R-NH)
Chris Dodd (D-CT)
Bill Frist (R-TN)
Tom Harkin (D-IA)
Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)
Richard Burr (R-NC)
James Jeffords (I-VT)
Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)
Mike DeWine (R-OH)
Patty Murray (D-WA)
John Ensign (R-NV)
Jack Reed (D-RI)
Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY)
Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
Pat Roberts (R-KS)

HELP Subcommittees:

Bioterrorism Preparedness and Public Health (Chair: Burr)
Education and Early Childhood Development (Chair: Alexander)
Retirement Security and Aging (Chair: DeWine)
Employment and Workplace Safety (Chair: Isakson)

Of the above, Mr. Burr's Subcommittee would pay the most attention to the NIH. Members of the Bioterrorism Preparedness and Public Health Subcommittee:

Richard Burr (R-NC), Chair
Edward Kennedy (D-MA), Ranking Member
Bill Frist (R-TN)
Chris Dodd (D-CT)
Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
Tom Harkin (D-IA)
Mike DeWine (R-OH)
Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)
John Ensign (R-NV)
Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)
Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
Patty Murray (D-WA)
Pat Roberts (R-KS)
Jack Reed (D-RI)
Mike Enzi (R-WY, ex officio)

Judiciary Committee members, 109th Congress:

Arlen Specter (R-PA), Chair
Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ranking Member
Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
Edward Kennedy (D-MA)
Charles Grassley (R-IA)
Joe Biden (D-DE)
John Kyl (R-AZ)
Herb Kohl (D-WI)
Mike DeWine (R-OH)
Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
Russell Feingold (D-WI)
Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
Charles Schumer (D-NY)
John Cornyn (R-TX)
Richard Durbin (D-IL)
Sam Brownback (R-KS)
Tom Coburn (R-OK)

At this writing, we await final word as to the agreed-upon subcommittee structure and/or the membership under each of the other committees and subcommittees.

House: In the House, primary focus has traditionally been on the

  • Committee on Appropriations (Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies; and Transportation, Treasury, and Independent Agencies);
  • Committee on Energy and Commerce (Subcommittee on Health); and the
  • Committee on Government Reform (Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy, and Human Resources).

At this writing, we await final word as to the agreed-upon subcommittee structure and/or the membership under each of these committees and subcommittees.

Congressional Briefings and Visits

October 14, 2004 -- At the request of the American Society of Addiction Medicine, Dr. Volkow was the lead speaker at a Congressional Briefing focusing on addiction research and the application of that research to clinical practice.

January 7, 2005 -- At the request of Congressman Patrick Kennedy, Dr. Volkow met with him to discuss NIDA's research priorities and recent advances in imaging and brain research.

February 1, 2005 - Congressman Patrick Kennedy and his staff followed up the January 7 meeting with a visit to NIDA's Intramural Research Program. They received a briefing on a few topics currently under investigation at the IRP: Molecular Genetics of Addiction Vulnerability; Preclinical Research on Relapse to Heroin and Cocaine: Implications for Treatment; Brain Imaging Studies of Human Drug Abuse; and Drug Testing: Technological Advances and New Biomarkers. This briefing was followed by a tour of the facility, spending time in the brain imaging center (fMRI and PET labs) as well as the toxicology lab. Mr. Kennedy continues his interest especially in the brain imaging work, and was quite curious and engaged with all of the topics covered.


Index

Research Findings

Program Activities

Extramural Policy and Review Activities

Congressional Affairs

International Activities

Meetings and Conferences

Media and Education Activities

Planned Meetings

Publications

Staff Highlights

Grantee Honors

In Memoriam



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