This Week on the Hill: House Calls Up Legislation on Flavored Tobacco Products

February 24, 2020

Congress will return from the Presidents’ Day district work period to resume legislative business, with the Senate returning later this afternoon and the House picking back up tomorrow. On the Senate floor this week, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has queued up a pair of abortion-related measures that are designed as a messaging exercise for the 2020 election. The measures up for consideration would: (1) establish requirements for the degree of care a health care practitioner must exercise in the event a child is born alive following an abortion or attempted abortion (S. 311); and (2) seek to boost protections for pain-capable unborn children (S. 3275). Senators will also consider four presidential nominations, including Katharine MacGregor’s nomination to be Deputy Secretary of the Interior.  

Meanwhile, House lawmakers have queued up a comprehensive tobacco-related measure that seeks to curb the use of e-cigarettes among youths. Specifically, the Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act would amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to: (1) prohibit the sale of flavored tobacco products; (2) promulgate Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations on synthetic nicotine and graphic health warnings for cigarette packing; and (3) ban the marketing, advertising, or promotion of any e-cigarette products to individuals under the age of 21. The lower chamber will also consider suspension bills out of the House Natural Resources and Veterans’ Affairs Committees.

Over the weekend, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) took the lead for the Democratic presidential nomination after decisive victory in Saturday’s Nevada caucuses. The Vermont Senator earned 40 percent of the vote in the Silver State’s contest, besting former Vice President Joe Biden and former South Bend, IN Mayor Pete Buttigieg who finished second and third respectively. The race for the Democratic nomination now shifts to South Carolina’s Feb. 29 primary, where recent polling suggests a tight race between Sen. Sanders and Vice President Biden.