Kuster Appointed to Conference Committee Overseeing Addiction and Recovery Legislation
Washington, DC, May 17, 2016
Today, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02) was appointed by House leadership to serve on the conference Committee tasked with producing the final version of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), comprehensive legislation to address the opioid epidemic . The conference Committee will be working to reconcile the differences between the Senate-passed CARA and the 18 bills on this topic that passed that passed through the House last week.
As co-founder of the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic, Kuster was instrumental in bringing together her colleagues to pass these bills last week, and her appointment to this conference Committee is a nod to her exceptional leadership on the House floor last week. Typically, Members with more seniority are selected to serve on conference committees, but House Leadership chose Kuster due to her role in raising awareness about the heroin epidemic and her longstanding work on the issue.
“With drug-related deaths on the rise in New Hampshire, I have committed myself to doing all that I can to help our communities address and halt the ongoing opioid epidemic,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “I’ve traveled the state to meet with stakeholders across all sectors, from law enforcement and the courts to medical providers and recovery experts, and I’ve used their feedback to help guide and further my work in Congress. I was proud to help lead the fight in the House to pass legislation to address this crisis last week, and I am honored to be appointed to this conference Committee. This is a position which will allow me to continue advocating for the prevention, treatment, and recovery efforts that are so crucial to putting an end to this epidemic. I look forward to working with my fellow Committee members to swiftly report out comprehensive legislation that will bring much needed relief to communities impacted by the epidemic.”
Kuster has helped lead the fight to address the heroin and opioid crisis at the federal level and in her home state of New Hampshire, and she has been an outspoken advocate of the need to pass CARA in order to provide funding for law enforcement, treatment, and recovery efforts. Last week, known as “opioid week” in the House, Kuster supported the passage of 18 legislative items targeting the opioid epidemic, many of which were championed by the Task Force that Kuster co-founded.
In New Hampshire, Kuster works to bring together experts from federal agencies to coordinate efforts to fight the epidemic. Last month, she brought the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic to New Hampshire for a field hearing to hear directly from local stakeholders. She has attended ride-alongs with law enforcement officials in Keene, Nashua, and Franklin, providing her with a direct look at the challenges facing local police departments and the communities they serve, and 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. She thanks House Leadership for today’s appointment.