Kuster Ushers Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force Legislation Through Energy and Commerce Committee
Washington, April 5, 2022
**The hearing also included legislation Kuster helped introduce, the KIDS CARES Act**
**The full Subcommittee hearing is available HERE**
**Rep. Kuster’s full remarks are available HERE**
Washington, D.C. — Today during an Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee hearing, Congresswoman Annie Kuster (NH-02), founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force, advocated for five pieces of mental health-focused legislation that were included in the Task Force’s 2021 Legislative Agenda. The hearing, entitled, “Communities in Need: Legislation to Support Mental Health and Well-Being," focused on bills to bolster our national response to the mental health crisis across the country.
“In New Hampshire, we saw very early on the devastation of the mental health and addiction epidemic,” said Rep. Kuster. “While the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this crisis and pulled back the curtain on the extent of the epidemic, it did not create it. That’s why I founded the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force in 2015, and why I am proud the Task Force — now the Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force — has grown to include 145 members from both sides of the aisle, working to bring an end to the crisis.”
Rep. Kuster continued, “This legislative hearing, which included many bills from the Task Force’s 2021 Legislative Agenda, is a critical step to ensuring those struggling with addiction and mental health get the support they need. We must continue to build on the long history of bipartisanship in this Committee in addressing the evolving addiction crisis and continue to bring forward legislation that reflects the needs of our communities and turn the tide on the epidemic.”
The Health Subcommittee discussed five pieces of legislation included in the Task Force’s 2021 Legislative Agenda:
The Bipartisan Addiction and Mental Health Task Force merges Rep. Kuster’s Bipartisan Opioid Task Force and Rep. David Trone’s Freshmen Working Group on Addiction to create a united front in Congress to address the addiction epidemic and ensure mental health is part of the national response. The purpose of the new Task Force is to build on previous efforts to make the most progress possible on addiction and mental health in the 117th Congress.
The Task Force’s full 2021 Legislative Agenda is available HERE.