The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will hold an executive session on Tuesday, May 22 at 10:00 a.m. to consider the following legislative measures and nominations.
Click here for additional information on nominees.
1. S. 2848, Fighting Opioid Abuse in Transportation Act, Sponsor: Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.)
2. S. 2842, Opioid Addiction Recovery Fraud Prevention Act of 2018, Sponsors: Sens. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.)
3. S. 2844, STB Information Security Improvement Act, Sponsor: Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.)
4. S. 2764, Sustainable Shark Fisheries and Trade Act of 2018, Sponsors: Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska)
5. S. 2418, Rural Reasonable and Comparable Wireless Access Act of 2018, Sponsors: Sens. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.)
6. Nomination of Joseph Ryan Gruters, of Florida, to be a Director of the Amtrak Board of Directors
7. Nomination of Jennifer L. Homendy, of Virginia, to be a Member of the National Transportation Safety Board
8. Coast Guard Promotions
*Agenda subject to change
Executive Session Details:
Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Full Committee Markup
Senate Dirksen Building, Room 106
Results of the markup can be found here.
Chairman John Thune
Good morning. Thank you all for being here for what should be another very quick markup, as I know many of you have to be at the EPW, Banking, or SASC markups, which are also occurring this morning.
We’ll start by considering two well qualified nominees – one to the Amtrak Board of Directors and the other to the National Transportation Safety Board – as well as over 250 Coast Guard promotions.
It is my hope that all of these nominations and confirmations will be considered on the floor expeditiously.
Legislatively, we will consider five measures today, including two focused on the ongoing opioid crisis.
It comes as no surprise to anyone here today that we are in the midst of an opioid abuse epidemic in this country. In 2016 alone, more than 42,000 people died from opioid overdoses.
Widespread abuse affects all industries, and transportation is no exception.
That is why the first item on today’s agenda, which I recently introduced, focuses on the transportation industry.
The Fighting Opioid Abuse in Transportation Act seeks to improve drug and alcohol testing requirements for workers performing safety-critical functions across the nation’s transportation network.
Additionally, the bill closes loopholes by expanding mandatory random drug testing requirements to both rail mechanical employees and yardmasters.
In a letter of support for the bill, NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt stated that this change, if enacted, has “great potential to save lives and avoid injuries.”
The bill would also: expand the Department of Transportation drug testing panel to include fentanyl; improve transparency of drug testing data; and speed the adoption of testing methodology improvements.
The second item on today’s agenda, the Opioid Addiction Recovery Fraud Prevention Act of 2018, sponsored by Senators Capito and Cortez Masto, focuses on weeding out bogus opioid treatment programs and products.
Given the physical, emotional, and financial challenges many face when deciding even to seek treatment, ensuring the resources they find are legitimate is critically important.
Their legislation would prohibit the marketing of bogus opioid treatment programs and products and provide additional tools to the Federal Trade Commission and states to enforce against these practices.
Other Committees in the Senate – including the Finance and HELP Committees – are also working on other legislative initiatives designed to tackle the opioid crisis, and I am hopeful today’s bills can eventually be considered along with them by the full Senate.
With that, I will turn to Senator Nelson for any opening remarks.