Manchin Applauds DOJ Opioid Quota Announcement
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) released the following statement on the U.S. Attorney General’s proposal to reduce opioid production, something Senator Manchin has been fighting for consistently over the past two years.
“Since 2016, I have consistently pressured the DEA to fix the quota system and I applaud Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ proposal,” Senator Manchin said. “I have also pushed the DEA and the DOJ to increase their enforcement efforts against those bad actors who are poisoning our communities. The DEA and DOJ are our first line of defense against the opioid epidemic and I will continue to work with them to reinstate the authority the DEA needs to enforce existing laws in order to keep opioids out of the hands of people who will unlawfully sell them or abuse them.”
Senator Manchin has been working with the DEA and the Department of Justice for two years to reduce production quotas and strengthen DEA enforcement measures. A full list of his efforts is below.
- June 23, 2016: Senator Manchin spoke on the Senate floor to discuss the opioid epidemic and how the DEA needs to lower the opioid quota for manufacturers.
- July 6, 2016: Senator Manchin joined several colleagues in a meeting with DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg and DEA’s Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Diversion Control to discuss the process in which DEA sets their annual opioid quotas for manufacturers.
- August 22, 2016: Senator Manchin sent a letter to then DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg urging the DEA to reduce opioid production quotas.
- October 28, 2016: Senator Manchin sent a letter to the DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch requesting information following reports the DEA scaled back enforcement efforts against wholesale opioid distributors that violated DEA rules intended to prevent legal controlled substances from entering into the illicit market.
- January 17, 2017: Senator Manchin sent another letter to Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg because the DEA’s response to his October 28 letter was inadequate and did not answer his questions.
- March 23, 2017: Senator Manchin and Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg had an in-person meeting to discuss how the DEA should be contributing more to combatting the opioid epidemic.
- July 11, 2017: Senator Manchin sent a letter to Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg asking the DEA to again lower opioid production quotas.
- August 3, 2017: Senator Manchin joined several colleagues in a meeting with DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg to discuss their July 11, 2017 letter to DEA. The meeting was focused on how the DEA can build upon last year’s progress in reducing aggregate production quotas for schedule II opioids and further lower those levels for 2018.
- December 21, 2017: Senator Manchin sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Acting Administrator Robert Patterson regarding the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act that was signed into law that significantly stripped the DEA’s authority to stop unlawful distribution of opioids. He requested information on its creation and a list of improvements that Congress could make that would reinstate the DEA’s authority.
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