Congresswoman Kuster Applauds Senate Passage of CARA
Washington, DC – This afternoon, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) released the following statement applauding Senate passage of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA). The co-chair and co-founder of the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic, Kuster was a driving force behind the House’s version of CARA, and she was appointed by House leadership to serve on the Conference Committee that combined the House and Senate legislation into the final bill that was approved in the Senate today.
“As a member of the Conference Committee that produced the CARA legislation voted on today in the Senate, I applaud my Senate colleagues for putting aside partisan differences and coming together to pass this bill. With more Americans now dying of drug overdoses than car accidents, this was not a time to play partisan politics, and this bill will provide crucial resources to communities across the country struggling to fight this public health crisis.
“While I remain disappointed that this legislation did not include emergency funding to address the epidemic, the funding authorizations and programs it does include are vital to the success of our efforts to stop the opioid epidemic. As the co-chair of the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic, I pushed for passage of CARA, and I look forward to working with local communities in New Hampshire to help them take advantage of the new programs contained in this bill to increase access to treatment, prevention, and recovery efforts.
“I will continue advocating for additional funding through the appropriations process; however, I commend my colleagues for coming together in both the House and the Senate to pass this bill into law. Today, we have taken a significant step forward towards our shared goal of putting an end to the opioid epidemic once and for all.”
As the co-chair and co-founder of the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic, Kuster has been at the forefront of the fight to address the heroin and opioid crisis at the federal level and in New Hampshire, and she has been an outspoken advocate for the need to support medical, law enforcement, treatment, and recovery efforts. Kuster has met with medical experts across the state and attended ride-alongs with law enforcement officials in Keene, Nashua, and Franklin, providing her with a direct look at the challenges facing communities. She continues to hold a series of regional briefings around the district to ensure the voices of local stakeholders and affected community members are heard. In recognition of her leadership on this issue Kuster was appointed to the conference committee tasked with producing the final version of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) – a role typically reserved for more senior members.