Press Releases

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, 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. 

“During the COVID-19 pandemic we have seen the need for increased efforts to address the substance misuse and opioid epidemic,” said Rep. Kuster, founder and Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Opioid Task Force. “As the founder and Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Opioid Task Force, I’ve focused on bringing together Republicans and Democrats to drive congressional action to respond to the substance abuse crisis that has devastated communities in New Hampshire and across the country. Today’s passage of these bills from our Task Force’s agenda will help ensure those who are struggling with addiction can get the care and support they need and prevent the distribution of illicit narcotics. I urge the Senate to act immediately on these important measures, and I will continue working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to combat this epidemic and keep Americans safe.”

“Pennsylvania has been overwhelmed by the opioid epidemic, and we need to work together to ensure that more Americans can receive life-saving care,” said Fitzpatrick, Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Opioid Task Force. “All three of these bills were key parts of the Task Force’s 2020 Legislative Agenda, and will help those struggling with addiction and make it easier for patients to receive treatment. Our constituents need treatment for addiction, and I will continue to fight on their behalf.”

“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.