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 JohnsonKavanaugh, accuser to testify publicly on Monday Kavanaugh furor intensifies as calls for new testimony grow House panel advances DHS cyber vulnerabilities bills 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 McCaskillTrump rallies in Nevada amid Supreme Court flurry: 'We're gonna get Brett' Trump boosts Heller, hammers 'Wacky Jacky' opponent in Nevada Google says senators' Gmail accounts targeted by foreign hackers 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.