Washington, D.C. – Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) released the following statement in response to the shooting this morning in Alexandria, VA:
“I find myself both saddened and angry. Steve Scalise is a good friend of mine. The Capitol Hill police officers are heroes, whose bravery this morning clearly saved many lives. My prayers are with all of them and their families.”
“But we also have to realize that the tone of our politics has become appalling. Examples are all around us: violent plays in New York City depicting the assassination of our sitting President, comedians taking pictures while holding his severed head, town halls that are filled with vitriol and intimidation. We must get back to respectful conversations and disagreements. And we need to make it clear that any hint of violence or intimidation is completely unacceptable.”
Washington, D.C. - Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) released the following statement in response to Secretary Zinke’s report on the Bear’s Ears National Monument:
“I commend the President and the Secretary for this long overdue examination of Antiquities Act abuses and I look forward to working with the Secretary as he works on the final report for this and other National Monuments. The process leading to the creation of the Bears Ears National Monument didn’t have the support of the Governor, a single member of Utah’s Congressional delegation, nor any local elected official. With the stroke of a pen, President Obama crippled a multi-year effort to solve public lands issues in Utah by locking up a million acres and jeopardized negotiations over another 10 million. In doing so, President Obama further undermined the local population’s trust in the federal government."
"When determining the future of public lands – particularly in regions dominated by federal ownership – there is a need to balance conservation, recreation and economic development. Secretary Zinke’s recommendation takes major steps to reach this conclusion and to correct the actions of the previous administration. This is a win-win scenario for the region.”
Washington, D.C. - Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) introduced The Outdoor Recreation Enhancement Act, which will ensure continued access to national parks and help preserve jobs for outfitters, guides and other seasonal employees.
The Department of Labor finalized rules in 2014 that established a new minimum wage and overtime hours for businesses operating under federal contracts – including recreational businesses whose only connection to the federal government is a permit to be on federal lands. The changes will force many such businesses to either close, move off of public lands, or operate with fewer workers.
Rep. Stewart said, “Not only do we have some of the best outdoor recreational activities in world, but these businesses also play an important role in our economy, often providing summer jobs for our high school and college students a few months a year. Increased costs on these businesses ultimately hurt younger workers and the tourist economy.”
The 2014 rules should have been limited to procurement and service contracts, but outfitters and guides, who provide services to the public, were tied up in the rule as well. One tour operator within Utah’s Second Congressional District wrote a letter explaining their concerns. “We very much want to maintain our commitment to the recreational experience in National Parks and on other public lands. However, the cost of compliance and the draconian overtime restrictions created by this rule, have significant impacts on our business. This is so serious to us that we may have to cease running trips in National Parks.”
To address the problem, the Outdoor Recreation Enhancement Act clarifies and expands an existing exemption to wage and hour laws for seasonal recreational establishments under the Fair Labor Standards Act. The bill will broaden the exemption, which currently exempts ski businesses, to include businesses involved in rafting, horseback riding, hiking, cycling, and other seasonal recreational businesses.
“Congress recognized the need for an exclusion when it exempted skiing businesses many years ago,” Stewart said. “The Outdoor Recreation Enhancement Act is a similar fix to ensure that outfitters and guides continue to help families enjoy remarkable experiences in National Parks and other public lands."
For a PDF copy of the bill, click here.
Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) and Rep. Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (R-Georgia) led a bi-partisan group of 65 Members of Congress urging the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to rescind their decision that restricts state-licensed pharmacies from compounding prescription drugs for healthcare providers to use in their offices.
Drug compounding is used to prepare personalized prescriptions for patients or for physicians to use for procedures in their offices. Compounding pharmacists can combine certain ingredients or medications in the exact strength and dosage to customize a prescription to meet specific needs.
Ignoring a specific Congressional directive, the FDA issued final Guidance on December 29, 2016, that prohibits office-use compounding by smaller traditional compounding pharmacies, known as 503A compounding pharmacies.
“The policies finalized in this GFI are contrary to the plain language of Section 503A as amended by the Drug Quality and Security Act (DQSA) and ignore clear, bipartisan, bicameral congressional intent expressed during passage of the bill,” the letter states. “The FDA has unfortunately chosen to ignore broad and diverse stakeholder input, multiple congressional letters from both chambers, and clear directives in the House Report accompanying the FY2016 FDA appropriations legislation (House Report 114-205). More importantly, the FDA’s misinterpretation of the law and related enforcement actions against pharmacies are jeopardizing patients’ access to critical compounded medications. “
The letter is signed by 65 Member of the House of Representatives Including:
Representatives Chris Stewart, Buddy Carter, Mac Thornberry, Rob Bishop, Paul Gosar, Phil Roe, Pete Olson, Pete Sessions, Mia Love, Marsha Blackburn, Morgan Griffith, Doug Collins, Frank LoBiondo, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Mark Pocan, Lou Barletta, John Carter, Kevin Cramer, Collin Peterson, Walter Jones, Ted Poe, Dutch Ruppersberger, Barbara Comstock, Rick Crawford, Jason Chaffetz, Don Young, Gus Bilirakis, Drew Ferguson, Rod Blum, Jaime Herrera Beutler, Billy Long, David Young, French Hill, Bill Flores, Henry Cuellar, Bob Goodlatte, Leonard Lance, Mike Gallagher, Darren Soto, Mimi Walters, Mario Diaz-Balart, Rodney Frelinghuysen, Andy Biggs, Louie Gohmert, Ted Yoho, Mark Walker, Dan Donovan, Rick Allen, Carlos Curbelo, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, David Joyce, Robert Pittenger, John Culberson, Peter DeFazio, Andy Barr, Vicente Gonzalez, David Rouzer, Mo Brooks, Roger Marshall, John Rutherford, Martha McSally, Austin Scott, Randy Weber, Martha Roby and Barry Loudermilk
The Full text of the letter is below. For a PDF copy, click here.
Dear Dr. Gottlieb:
We write today to express our strong disappointment with the final Guidance For Industry (GFI) issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on December 29, 2016, entitled “Prescription Requirement under 503A of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act”. The final GFI takes the position that state-licensed pharmacies cannot compound medications pursuant to state pharmacy laws for administration to patients in office or clinical settings (commonly referred to as “office-use compounding”).
Office-use compounding of medications is a common and often necessary medical practice that is authorized in some form by the vast majority of state pharmacy laws. Compounding for office-use done pursuant to state pharmacy laws does not make a pharmacy a drug manufacturer, and Congress never intended for the FDA to assert regulatory authority over the traditional practice of pharmacy, which has always been regulated at the state level.
The policies finalized in this GFI are contrary to the plain language of Section 503A as amended by the Drug Quality and Security Act (DQSA) and ignore clear, bipartisan, bicameral congressional intent expressed during passage of the bill. The FDA has unfortunately chosen to ignore broad and diverse stakeholder input, multiple congressional letters from both chambers, and clear directives in the House Report accompanying the FY2016 FDA appropriations legislation (House Report 114-205). More importantly, the FDA’s misinterpretation of the law and related enforcement actions against pharmacies are jeopardizing patients’ access to critical compounded medications. For these reasons, we respectfully request that the FDA immediately rescind this GFI and issue a proposed rule, with notice and stakeholder input as required by the Administrative Procedure Act, that is consistent with the DQSA and that allows for office-use compounding by state-licensed pharmacies where authorized by state pharmacy laws.
Particularly troubling is the fact that when finalizing this GFI from draft form, the FDA not only ignored congressional intent, stakeholder input, and clear directives in their FY16 funding legislation about office-use compounding, but also added new language not contained in the draft guidance that attempts to redefine the key and distinct terms “distribute” and “dispense”. It is astonishing that the agency would try to redefine these terms, which have commonly-accepted definitions both in existing law and in pharmacy practice, in a guidance document. This is a clear attempt by the FDA to assert unprecedented regulatory authority over the dispensing of medications and the traditional practice of pharmacy in a way that Congress never intended when passing the FDCA or its amendments in the DQSA. This regulatory overreach by the FDA and enforcement of the DQSA using guidance documents that don’t conform to the law is unacceptable and must stop.
In June of last year, sixty-one members of the House of Representatives, on a bipartisan basis, wrote to your predecessor Dr. Califf asking that the FDA finalize the draft GFI in a way that was consistent with the law and that protected both patient safety and access to critical medications compounded for office-use under state pharmacy laws. Unfortunately, the final GFI doubles-down on the FDA’s misinterpretation of the statute and will further exacerbate the patient access problem as more state-licensed and compliant pharmacies are forced to cease compounding office-use medications to the providers in their communities who rely on them for their patients’ needs.
We are hopeful that after rescinding this GFI, the incoming administration will re-evaluate the FDA’s policy on this subject and issue a proposed rule that provides a meaningful opportunity for stakeholder input and that adheres to the plain language and congressional intent behind the underlying statute. We look forward to working with you during this process.
Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) and Mayor Ben McAdams (Salt Lake County), along with the Salt Lake County Health Department and the Utah Drug Enforcement Agency hosted a roundtable to discuss ways to facilitate the proper disposal of controlled substances.
“2 million Americans are addicted to, or abuse opiate-based painkillers. Utah is currently ranked fourth in the nation for most opioid related deaths,” Stewart said. “These drug addictions are destroying opportunities and devastating families and communities across the country. This problem is greater than one single solution, but the proper disposal of unused medications is one way to begin making a difference and saving lives. That’s why today’s discussion about improving access and convenience of the proper disposal of opioids is so important.”
“Prescription drug abuse is a serious problem that hurts too many families,” said Mayor Ben McAdams. “Congressman Stewart recognizes that this widespread issue requires a collaborative community response. Today we came together – pharmacists, law enforcement, health experts, government agencies – to compare notes and work more closely toward the shared goal of reducing opioid abuse, making our communities safer and healthier.”
20 years ago, the Salt Lake County Health Department established a program to install medication drop boxes in police stations throughout the community. For the past year, the Health Department has worked to develop a pilot program to facilitate the implementation of these boxes in retail pharmacies.
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) released the following statement after voting in favor of the American Health Care Act, which passed the House of Representatives today:
“For more than seven years the American people have been asking Congress to repeal and replace Obamacare. Today we delivered. The American Health Care Act will drive down costs, offer families more choices and importantly protect people with pre-existing conditions.”
Washington, D.C. – Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) released the following statement after voting against the government funding bill, the FY 2017 Omnibus:
“This bill failed Utah in key ways. Not only did it lack most of Utah’s priorities, it was also the product of a fundamentally flawed process. I firmly believe that we could have done better.”
Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) and Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), along with Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas) and Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) introduced bi-partisan legislation to improve the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. This bill, the National Suicide Prevention Hotline Improvement Act, aims to designate a new national 3-digit dialing code – similar to 911 – to be used for a mental health crisis and suicide prevention hotline.
While there is currently a National Suicide Prevention Lifeline phone number, 1-800-273-TALK, it can be cumbersome to remember. This bill works to simplify the hotline phone number to make it more accessible to Americans in their time of need. This is particularly timely as May is National Mental Health Awareness Month.
“Each year, almost 35,000 Americans tragically take their own life,” said Rep. Chris Stewart. “In addition, one person attempts to commit suicide every 38 seconds. This is devastating to families and communities. The resources we currently have in place for suicide prevention and other mental health crises are simply too difficult to find during a time of need. This bill works to streamline and provide easy access to potentially life saving resources.”
“Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States,” said Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson. “I am proud to work with Congressman Stewart on a National Suicide Prevention Hotline which will help Americans during a time of need. While resources do currently exist for this purpose, the national phone number is challenging to recall. We must find a solution for those struggling during a mental health crisis and provide a solution during a difficult time.”
“Every 14 hours, a Utahn commits suicide, resulting in an average of 557 deaths each year,” said Sen. Orrin Hatch. “The problem is so acute that Utah now has the 5th highest suicide rate in the nation. This trend is particularly pronounced among Utah’s youth. Utah’s teenagers desperately need our help. That’s why last December I convened a roundtable discussion with community leaders, healthcare professionals, principals, and parents at East High School in Salt Lake City. There, we discussed proven methods to destigmatize mental illness and address the teen suicide crisis. In response to what I learned at our roundtable discussion, I will introduce the bipartisan National Suicide Hotline Improvement Act, which will make it easier for Americans to access the help and treatment they need when they consider harming themselves.”
“As we work to reduce the number of suicides in Indiana and across the country, this bill would examine if an easy-to-remember, 3-digit hotline would help save lives,” said Sen. Joe Donnelly. “I’m proud to work with Senator Hatch on this bipartisan effort, because we can all support working to improve mental health services and ending the stigma attached to mental health issues.”
The full text of the bill can be found here.
Richfield, Utah – Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) will host a Town Hall Meeting on Friday, May 12, 2017 at Richfield High School at 7pm in Richfield, Utah.
This is a great opportunity for constituents in Utah’s 2nd Congressional District to speak with their Congressman about the critical issues facing our nation.
Washington, D.C. – Today, Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) joined President Trump for the signing of an Executive Order asking for a review of all of the National Monuments created in the last 21 years. This includes a review of Utah’s Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments.
Following the signing of the Executive Order, Rep. Stewart issued the following statement:
“Over the years, the original intent of the Antiquities Act has morphed well beyond the original intent of the Act, which was to preserve the “smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected”. These land grabs occur with no input from Congress or the local communities most impacted by the designations. It’s an emotional issue to communities around the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments, as it affects and threatens their ways of life. That’s why I believe this Executive Order asking for a review of National Monuments is both a healthy and necessary process.”
“Utahns deserve a collaborative land management process that ensures local residents have a seat at the table.”
As the Vice Chair of the House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, Stewart has been working to limit the use of the Antiquities Act. Last year he passed several key provisions in the House Interior Appropriations Bill, and has been the sponsor of the Utah Land Sovereignty Act.
323 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Chris Stewart is the Congressman from Utah’s Second Congressional District. He is a No. 1 New York Times best-selling and national award-winning author, world-record-setting Air Force pilot, and the former owner/CEO of a small business.
Chris is one of ten children and grew up on a dairy farm in Cache Valley. He graduated from Utah State University, where he earned his degree in economics. Upon graduation, Chris joined the United States Air Force where he was the Distinguished Graduate (top of his class) in both Officer Training School and Undergraduate Pilot Training. He served for fourteen years as a pilot in the Air Force, flying both rescue helicopters and the B-1B bomber. He holds three world speed records, including the world’s record for the fastest non-stop flight around the world.
Chris is a prolific author having written 17 books, several of which have become national best-sellers, and have been published in six different countries.
Before being elected to Congress, Chris served as president and CEO of the Shipley Group, a nationally recognized firm for consulting expertise in energy and the environment. He and his wife, Evie, are the parents of six children.
Chris now serves as a member of House Appropriations Committee.
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Having fun at the White House Congressional Picnic with a few of my grandkids! @ The White House https://t.co/AV8znAGAYl
Terrible to watch out beautiful forrest burn. Doubled in size last night. Firefighters... stay safe. Go get em!