Senate passes drug reimportation amendment

Supporters of drug reimportation notched a win yesterday when the Senate passed a bill that would prohibit federal funds from being used to confiscate prescription drugs from Canada.

The measure passed 68-32, with no opposition from Democrats.

Introduced as an amendment to the homeland-security appropriations bill by Louisiana Sen. David Vitter (R), the provision would block U.S. Customs and Border Patrol funds for confiscating Canadian prescription drugs for individual use.

Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), who is in a tight reelection race, voted against the Vitter bill, saying it is dangerous to let Canadian drugs into the United States when it is uncertain where they originated.

Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio), facing a close race this fall against Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), also voted against the measure, as did another Democratic target, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.).

Other politically vulnerable GOP senators voted for the amendment, including Sens. Lincoln Chafee (R.I.), Jim Talent (Mo.) and Conrad Burns (Mont.).