By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Wednesday, May 11, US Representative Martha Roby released a statement saying that the House is expected to pass legislation to deal with the growing problem of opioid abuse in this country.
Congresswoman Roby said, “This week the House is taking action to combat the growing problem with opioid addiction and abuse. Did you know that every twelve minutes someone dies of a drug overdose in this country? Chances are you might know someone struggling with drug addiction or abuse. Studies show that four out of ten Americans know someone who has struggled with addiction and one in five have a family member who has.”
Representative Roby continued, “This is an issue that affects the whole cross section of our country, and that’s why Congress is working through legislation to give doctors, law enforcement and the treatment community more tools to combat the problem. I’ll update you on that progress throughout the week. In the meantime, please take a moment to read this piece from Dr. Stephen Taylor that helps explain addiction and abuse in personal terms. If you or someone you know has struggled with addiction, some of this may be very familiar. But it’s important for all of us to understand how this problem begins so we can work together to help solve it.”
According to information provided by Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-Wisconsin) office the US House of Representatives will follow through on their promise to address the alarming opioid epidemic sweeping the nation. The House will vote on a total of 18 bills (2 rule bills, 16 suspensions) that range from addressing opioid addiction amongst our veterans, to babies infected with this disease, to the current pain management best practices, and much more.
These bills are expected to pass with strong bipartisan support, and then be voted on, as a rule, to amend the Senate-passed opioid legislation. The next step will be a vote to go to formal conference committee, with the Senate to finalize the package.
These bills include:
4063 – Jason Simcakoski PROMISE Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Gus Bilirakis / Veterans’ Affairs Committee)
HR4985 – Kingpin Designation Improvement Act of 2016 (Sponsored by Rep. John Katko / Foreign Affairs Committee)
S32 – Transnational Drug Trafficking Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein / Judiciary Committee)
HR5048 – Good Samaritan Assessment Act of 2016 (Sponsored by Rep. Frank Guinta / Judiciary Committee)
HR5052 – OPEN Act (Sponsored by Rep. Kevin McCarthy / Judiciary Committee)
HR4843 – Infant Plan of Safe Care Improvement Act (Sponsored by Rep. Lou Barletta / Education and the Workforce Committee)
HR4978 – NAS Healthy Babies Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Evan Jenkins / Energy and Commerce Committee)
HR3680 – Co-Prescribing to Reduce Overdoses Act of 2016, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. John Sarbanes / Energy and Commerce Committee)
HR3691 – Improving Treatment for Pregnant and Postpartum Women Act of 2016 (Sponsored by Rep. Ben Ray Lujan / Energy and Commerce Committee)
HR1818 – Veteran Emergency Medical Technician Support Act of 2016 (Sponsored by Rep. Adam Kinzinger / Energy and Commerce Committee)
HR4969 – John Thomas Decker Act of 2016 (Sponsored by Rep. Pat Meehan / Energy and Commerce Committee)
HR4586 – Lali’s Law (Sponsored by Rep. Bob Dold / Energy and Commerce Committee)
HR4599 – Reducing Unused Medications Act of 2016 (Sponsored by Rep. Katherine Clark / Energy and Commerce Committee)
HR4976 – Opioid Review Modernization Act of 2016 (Sponsored by Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney / Energy and Commerce Committee)
HR4982 – Examining Opioid Treatment Infrastructure Act of 2016 (Sponsored by Rep. Bill Foster / Energy and Commerce Committee)
HR4981 – Opioid Use Disorder Treatment Expansion and Modernization Act, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Larry Bucshon / Energy and Commerce Committee)
HR4641 – To provide for the establishment of an inter-agency task force to review, modify, and update best practices for pain management and prescribing pain medication, and for other purposes (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Susan Brooks / Energy and Commerce Committee)
HR5046 – Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Reduction Act of 2016, Rules Committee Print (Subject to a Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner / Judiciary Committee)
Congresswoman Martha Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District.