In remarks today at the AHA annual meeting, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Robert Goodlatte (R-VA) thanked AHA for educating committee members about the Standard Mergers and Acquisitions Review Through Equal Rules Act and urged the Senate to quickly pass the AHA-backed bill, which cleared the House in March. Sponsored by Goodlatte, the SMARTER Act would align the Federal Trade Commission’s merger review process with that of the Department of Justice by eliminating the FTC’s ability to use its own administrative tribunal to challenge a merger. In other comments, Goodlatte promised additional action soon on legislation to address the opioid epidemic, an issue he said “touches nearly every region of the country.” The committee last week approved legislation that would provide federal grants to strengthen state and local efforts to combat opioid abuse.