A U.S. Senate plan to impose nationwide regulations on cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine–a key ingredient in methamphetamine–has stalled because a House-Senate conference commitee struck the proposal from a spending bill, reports The Oregonian. Some House members balked at terms of the bill, citing concerns for its impact on pharmacies and other retailers. The retail sales restrictions were contained in the appropriations bill that pays for State, Justice, Commerce and other departments. Republican leadership said it was committed to passing comprehensive legislation dealing with the crucial methamphetamine ingredient this year.
The conference committee voted Friday to send the spending bill to the House and Senate for a final vote without the meth provisions. Moving a bill within Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist’s deadline of this year has become significantly more difficult as a result of the panel’s vote. As a stand-alone measure, an anti-meth bill would have no deadline for passage. Because of its combined sweep — from corner drugstores to U.S. foreign policy — chairmen of several authorizing committees could assert jurisdiction in the House.