GOP chairman says opioid probes should happen in courts, not Congress

GOP chairman says opioid probes should happen in courts, not Congress
© Greg Nash

Sen. Ron JohnsonRonald (Ron) Harold JohnsonTrump administration floats background check proposal to Senate GOP Republicans wary of US action on Iran Democratic senator warns O'Rourke AR-15 pledge could haunt party for years MORE (R-Wis.) says probes into the opioid epidemic should take place in the courts, not in Congress. 

Johnson, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, has denied requests from ranking member Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillEx-CIA chief worries campaigns falling short on cybersecurity Ocasio-Cortez blasts NYT editor for suggesting Tlaib, Omar aren't representative of Midwest Trump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand MORE (D-Mo.) to subpoena Teva Pharmaceutical Industries on its role in the crisis, according to Stat News


“I think in this case, you have active lawsuits where these issues are all being adjudicated,” Johnson told Stat.

“I don’t like competing with other committees’ jurisdictions or actions on this thing, in this case the courts. They’re going to do a really good job of discovery and these issues will be fully vetted in the courts.”

Teva is among the drug companies being sued in a federal court in Ohio in a massive, multi-district litigation brought by hundreds of cities and counties.

While Johnson wants to leave the issue to the courts, Republicans in the House have summoned representatives of five major drug distribution companies to testify on their roles in the opioid crisis.

The House Energy & Commerce Committee has also conducted investigations into pill dumping by drug distributors in West Virginia.