This week the department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the first of $495 million in grants dedicated to combating the opioid crisis. Main Street Republicans were influential in passing the 21st Century Cures legislation that authorized this funding. In a joint statement, Main Street Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX), chairman of the Subcommittee on Health, and Main Street Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA), chairman of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations heralded the announcement:
“The opioid crisis has hit every community and knows no bounds,” the lawmakers said in a joint statement. ”Combating the epidemic requires an all-hands-on-deck approach, and these critical dollars will play an important role in that effort. American families have been devastated by this epidemic, and we’re encouraged by the Trump administration’s renewed focus to tackle this crisis head-on.”
The announcement also signaled good news for our three Main Street Members from New Jersey: Rep. Leonard Lance, Rep. Tom MacArthur, and Rep. Frank Lobiondo. HHS awarded New Jersey a grant of $13 million to start confronting opioid addiction in its hardest hit areas. Rep. Lance welcomed the news with this statement:
“The opioid crisis is devastating families and communities across the Garden State. In 2015, New Jersey’s heroin death rate was two-and-one-half times the skyrocketing U.S. rate. This grant award will help expand access to treatment, recovery, and prevention programs and strengthen our state’s ability to combat this growing epidemic,” said Lance.
Main Street Members are excited about this progress, but we know that there remains more work to do in ending this crisis. Our members have introduced five new bills that present a comprehensive approach to dealing with opioids. This includes Rep. Pat Tiberi’s (R-OH) STOP Act, Rep. Dan Donovan’s (R-NY) Comprehensive Fentanyl Control Act, and the STOP OD Act introduced by Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH). Our members want to end this epidemic by providing better treatment for addicts, better tools and training for law enforcement, and better prevention methods to stop addiction before it starts.