Kuster-Backed Opioid Bills Pass the House
**These bills were included in the Bipartisan Opioid Task Force’s Legislative Agenda, which Rep. Kuster unveiled earlier this year**
Washington, November 17, 2020
Washington, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2466, the State Opioid Response Grant Authorization Act of 2020, H.R. 2281, the Easy MAT for Opioid Addiction Act, and H.R. 3878, the Block, Report, and Suspend Shipments Act of 2020. These Kuster-backed proposals are part of the Bipartisan Opioid Task Force’s 2020 Legislative Agenda, which was unveiled in February. The bills authorize grants to states and tribal organizations to increase access to prevention, treatment and recovery for opioid use disorder, revise regulations to allow practitioners to more easily treat patients dealing with acute withdrawal symptoms, and require drug manufacturers and distributors to stop suspicious shipments of controlled substances.
“As America continues to battle a public health crisis and economic crisis, the opioid epidemic continues to claim American lives every day,” said Congressman Norcross, Vice-Chair of the Bipartisan Opioid Task Force. “Addiction has impacted far too many families, and these bills will help combat the opioid epidemic by providing states with resources to fund new research and projects, while continuing the vital work being done to help those impacted by addiction and save lives. While we’re taking a positive step forward today, we must continue working on solutions, increasing mental health and addiction funding and safeguarding health coverage for people with pre-existing conditions because one preventable death is too many.”
The Bipartisan Opioid Task Force has been an effective driver of legislative solutions to take on the opioid epidemic. Several bills in the Task Force’s 2018 legislative agenda including Kuster’s VA Prescription Data Accountability Act, the STOP Fentanyl Deaths Act, and the INTERDICT Act have been signed into law. Congresswoman Kuster has long advocated for robust funding to tackle the opioid crisis and helped advance more than $5 billion in opioid funding last year. Kuster pushed SAMHSA to adjust its funding formula to ensure that New Hampshire received a significant increase in resources. Along with New Hampshire Delegation, Kuster helped the state receive a total of nearly $35 million in State Opioid Response (SOR) grants in FY 2019.