Their Biographies, Issue Positions, Voting Records, Public Statements, Ratings and their Funders.

Debarment Enforcement of Bad Actor Registrants Act of 2020

Floor Speech

Date: Nov. 17, 2020
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. PALLONE. Madam Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the bill (H.R. 4806) to amend the Controlled Substances Act to authorize the debarment of certain registrants, and for other purposes, as amended.

The Clerk read the title of the bill.

The text of the bill is as follows: H. R. 4806

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ``Debarment Enforcement of Bad Actor Registrants Act of 2020'' or the ``DEBAR Act of 2020''. SEC. 2. DEBARMENT OF CERTAIN REGISTRANTS.

Section 304 of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 824) is amended by adding at the end the following:

``(h) The Attorney General may issue an order to prohibit, conditionally or unconditionally, and permanently or for such period as the Attorney General may determine, any person from being registered under this title to manufacture, distribute, or dispense a controlled substance or a list I chemical, if the Attorney General finds that--

``(1) such person meets or has met any of the conditions for suspension or revocation of registration under subsection (a); and

``(2) such person has a history of prior suspensions or revocations of registration.''. SEC. 3. DETERMINATION OF BUDGETARY EFFECTS.

The budgetary effects of this Act, for the purpose of complying with the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010, shall be determined by reference to the latest statement titled ``Budgetary Effects of PAYGO Legislation'' for this Act, submitted for printing in the Congressional Record by the Chairman of the House Budget Committee, provided that such statement has been submitted prior to the vote on passage.


Mr. PALLONE. 4806.


Mr. PALLONE. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I rise today in support of H.R. 4806, the Debarment Enforcement of Bad Actor Registrants Act of 2020, or the DEBAR Act of 2020, which gives the Drug Enforcement Administration, or the DEA, additional tools to go after bad actors.

The DEA is charged with enforcing and implementing policies to protect public health and safety through the Controlled Substances Act.

One important lever DEA has at its disposal to manage diversion or noncompliance with the law is the ability to revoke or surrender an individual's CSA registration, which is needed to handle controlled substances. While this is an important tool, a recent Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General report found weaknesses in DEA's registration process and instances where the agency did not fully utilize its regulatory authorities to address noncompliance. Specifically, the inspector general found cases where entities have been able to obtain a new license after having one that was revoked.

For example, the report outlined a case that included a doctor who was engaged in serious misconduct and had his registration revoked, who then moved to another State under the authority of a different DEA field division. When the doctor reapplied for registration, it was granted.

Another example, Madam Speaker, in the report included a dentist who had voluntarily surrendered his medical license and DEA registration on two separate occasions. The dentist also had been convicted of a felony, which is grounds for suspension or revocation of an individual's registration under the CSA. However, according to DEA, the dentist was still able to obtain another DEA registration.

Now, these errors by the DEA are simply unacceptable, Madam Speaker. Today, we are considering H.R. 4806, which would address these errors. The legislation would authorize the debarment of any registrant that either meets the criteria for temporary or permanent suspension or revocation or has a history of prior suspension or revocations.

Again, I thank my colleague Representative Latta for leading this legislation and Ranking Member Walden and his staff for working with me on this legislation.

Madam Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support the bill, and I reserve the balance of my time. House of Representatives, Committee on Energy and Commerce, Washington, DC, November 16, 2020. Hon. Jerrold Nadler, Chair, Committee on Judiciary, Washington, DC.

Dear Chairman Nadler: Thank you for consulting with the Committee on Energy and Commerce and agreeing to be discharged from further consideration of H.R. 4806, the DEBAR Act of 2020, so that the bill may proceed expeditiously to the House floor.

I agree that your forgoing further action on this measure does not in any way diminish or alter the jurisdiction of your committee or prejudice its jurisdictional prerogatives on this measure or similar legislation in the future. I would support your effort to seek appointment of an appropriate number of conferees from your committee to any House-Senate conference on this legislation.

I will seek to place our letters on H.R. 4806 into the Congressional Record during floor consideration of the bill. I appreciate your cooperation regarding this legislation and look forward to continuing to work together as this measure moves through the legislative process. Sincerely, Frank Pallone, Jr., Chairman. ____ House of Representatives, Committee on the Judiciary, Washington, DC, November 16, 2020. Hon. Frank Pallone, Jr., Chairman, Committee on Energy and Commerce, House of Representatives, Washington, DC.

Dear Chairman Pallone: This is to advise you that the Committee on the Judiciary has now had an opportunity to review the provisions in H.R. 4806, the ``Debarment Enforcement of Bad Actor Registrants Act of 2019,'' that fall with in our Rule X jurisdiction. I appreciate your consulting with us on those provisions. The Judiciary Committee has no objection to your including them in the bill for consideration on the House floor, and to expedite that consideration is willing to forgo action on H.R. 4806, with the understanding that we do not thereby waive any future jurisdictional claim over those provisions or their subject matters.

In the event a House-Senate conference on this or similar legislation is convened, the Judiciary Committee reserves the right to request an appropriate number of conferees to address any concerns with these or similar provisions that may arise in conference.

Please place this letter into the Congressional Record during consideration of the measure on the House floor. Thank you for the cooperative spirit in which you have worked regarding this matter and others between our committees. Sincerely, Jerrold Nadler, Chairman.


Mr. PALLONE. Madam Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this bill, and I yield back the balance of my time.