Epidemic of Skin Cancer Threatens Americans this Summer.

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May is Melanoma Awareness Month

WASHINGTON, DC – With more than 2 million cases of skin cancer diagnosed each year, U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) announced  that she is cosponsoring the Sunscreen Innovation Act – bipartisan legislation that aims to streamline the approval process to bring safe and effective sunscreens to consumers as quickly as possible. The bill seeks to break a logjam at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), where some sunscreen ingredients that are widely used in foreign markets – such as Canada and Europe – have been stuck in the approval process for 12 years.

“The fight against skin cancer starts with using the best available sunscreen, and this bipartisan legislation will help ensure that Americans have access to the highest quality sunscreen products,” said Senator Ayotte. “As we observe national Melanoma Awareness Month, Congress should take up and pass this commonsense bill right away. There’s no reason why bureaucratic federal regulations should prevent safe and effective products from reaching the marketplace.”

Ingredients in over-the-counter sunscreens must be approved by the FDA, which hasn’t added to its list of approved sunscreen ingredients since 1999 – even though sunscreen with new ingredients has been available in foreign markets including Europe, Canada, Asia and South America for 15 years.

The Sunscreen Innovation Act aims to ensure that sunscreen ingredients going through the FDA approval process receive a transparent review within a predictable timeframe – 11 months or less, depending on whether it is a new or existing submission. As it stands now, there is no mandatory timeline for this process. Existing FDA eligibility requirements would be maintained – an ingredient must be used extensively and safely for at least five years in at least one country.

The Sunscreen Innovation Act (S. 2141) was introduced in the Senate by Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) and Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA). Companion legislation (H.R. 4250) was introduced in the House by Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) and Congressman John Dingell (D-MI).

The legislation is supported by: the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the Melanoma Research Foundation, the Prevent Cancer Foundation, and the Skin Cancer Foundation.

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Heroin Epidemic Lays Waste New England States.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)  continued to raise concerns this week at the federal level about New Hampshire’s heroin epidemic, urging Attorney General Eric Holder to use an “all hands on deck” approach to combat the crisis and calling on Senate appropriators to prioritize funding that supports drug-trafficking enforcement efforts.

Ayotte joined several Senators from both parties in a letter to Attorney General Holder that called for the Department of Justice to leverage the best criminal justice and public health practices currently available to address heroin and prescription opioid abuse.

“Addiction to prescription opioids and heroin has become one of our nation’s most challenging public health issues, affecting our neighborhoods and communities in ways far worse than anyone might have imagined,” the Senators wrote. “To effectively address the problem of heroin and opioid dependence in our country, an ‘all hands on deck’ approach that recognizes the value of prevention and education, law enforcement, overdose prevention and the utilization of all opioid addiction treatments is required.”

In a separate letter today to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services, Ayotte highlighted the High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program — a critical tool to help disrupt drug-trafficking operations in New England and across the country.

“Today, my home state of New Hampshire is facing a heroin addiction crisis that is taking lives and ruining families. The HIDTA Program continues to be a critical tool in helping to disrupt national and regional drug trafficking operations, and we continue to rely on their expertise and experience to fight alarming regional heroin use trends in New England,” Ayotte wrote. 

She continued, “The regional collaborative approach allowed by [New England HIDTA] is critical to combating this program in New Hampshire, as law enforcement reports that much of the supply of heroin in New Hampshire passes through Connecticut and Massachusetts before reaching end-users in New Hampshire communities.”

As New Hampshire attorney general from 2004 to 2009, Ayotte led the New Hampshire Drug Task Force and worked closely with state and local law enforcement to boost efforts to combat drug abuse, drug-trafficking and other drug-related crimes. She has been a strong advocate for Byrne JAG which helps augment crime-fighting and drug treatment efforts at the state and local levels .

At two recent hearings on Capitol Hill, Ayotte questioned Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and Defense Department officials about efforts among federal agencies and state and local law enforcement agencies to curb drug-trafficking.

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Russia Invades Ukraine; Sen. Kelly Ayotte Demands U.S. Respond Quickly.

When disturbed, he always shoots first and asks questions later.
When disturbed, he always shoots first and asks questions later.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), a Senate Armed Services Committee member, released the following statement regarding U.S. policy toward Russia in the wake of Russia’s invasion of the Crimea:

“From Syria, to Snowden, to the Crimea, the administration’s “reset” with Russia is a failure. It’s urgent that we reset the reset policy. The administration’s weakness and accommodation toward Russia has only invited disdain and aggression from Putin. Putin’s actions in Crimea demonstrate a brazen disregard for international law, Russia’s prior commitments, the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, as well as the statements and warnings of this administration. The time for administration statements and red lines is over.

“The U.S. should move without delay to inflict concrete consequences on Putin for his invasion and occupation of sovereign Ukrainian territory. At a minimum, the U.S. and our European allies should implement strong financial and diplomatic sanctions against the Putin regime, including asset freezes and visa bans. The administration should also make clear that the G-8 will not occur in Russia as long as Russian troops are occupying Ukrainian or Georgian territory. Instead, the administration should work to hold a G-7 summit in Europe or the United States.

“The U.S. should also make clear that it will stand with the people of Ukraine by working with our European allies to deliver a quick and reasonable IMF economic aid package to Kyiv, exploring the possibility of exporting significant quantities of U.S. natural gas to Ukraine, and providing increased assistance to the Ukrainian military.

“The administration should also revisit plans to further strengthen missile defenses in Europe.”

Sen. Kelly Ayotte.
Sen. Kelly Ayotte.