From the Office of Congressman Eliot L. Engel
Editor's note: Representative Eliot L. Engel represents the 16th Congressional District, which comprises the northern Bronx and the southern half of Westchester County, including Bronxville.
May 2, 2018: Last week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee passed two bills co-authored by Congressman Eliot L. Engel that will help address the nation’s ongoing opioid epidemic.
Both bills passed unanimously during a marathon markup session at which more than 60 bills were up for consideration.
Congressman Engel partnered with Congresswoman Susan Brooks to author the Poison Center Network Enhancement Act, which will reauthorize the U.S. poison center program for an additional five years. Since 2011, U.S. poison centers have handled almost 200 cases daily involving opioid misuse.
The Reinforcing Evidence-based Standards Under Law in Treating Substance abuse (RESULTS) Act, which Congressman Engel introduced with Congressman Steve Stivers, will provide new guidance to applicants seeking federal grants to treat or prevent mental health or substance use disorders, better enabling them to carry out evidence-based activities.
“Families in the Bronx, Westchester, and across the U.S. are suffering, and Congress must deliver solutions,” Engel said. “I am pleased to see these bills moving forward, as they will play an important role in our response to this crisis.”
During debate, Engel cautioned Republicans about the need to carefully consider policies that will have real implications for American families, rather than rush legislation that hasn’t been examined thoroughly. “Americans need action–not the appearance of action,” Engel said. “Republicans’ insistence on considering so many bills at one time, some of which have been proposed only recently, is concerning to me. Our constituents expect us to thoroughly weigh the pros and cons of every policy we consider. If we fail to do that, we risk worsening the very crisis we are trying to solve.
“I am also disappointed by Republicans’ decision to block an amendment that would require the Department of Health and Human Services to examine the rising price of the overdose reversal drug naloxone. In 2016, the rate of opioid-related deaths in Westchester fell nearly 30 percent. Evidence suggests this was thanks in part to naloxone. Having HHS examine the rising prices that could pose a barrier to accessing this lifesaving drug makes good sense.”
Pictured here: Congressman Eliot L. Engel.
Photo courtesy Office of Congressman Eliot L. Engel
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