Cummings Endorses Effort to Make Opioid Treatment a Top Priority Next Congress
Washington, D.C. (Jan. 9, 2019)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, issued the following statement in response to a letter signed by more than 60 House Democrats asking the Democratic leadership to make addressing the opioid crisis a top priority for the 116th Congress:
“As the Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, which has oversight jurisdiction over multiple aspects of the opioid crisis, I fully endorse and support this letter, and I plan to dedicate staff to investigate and hold hearings on various aspects of this national crisis. I am also 100% committed to working with my colleagues in the House to develop and advance strong legislation to provide additional funding for desperately needed treatment, wrap-around services, and related infrastructure.”
The letter, signed by Members in states that experienced the brunt of the opioids epidemic last year, calls on Democratic leaders to provide the resources and congressional direction the nation needs to stymie the tide of this public health crisis.
“People across this country are suffering and need more relief than our local governments can provide,” the letter reads. “As members from the states impacted by this crisis the most, we see people every day who need our help. We hope that you will take into consideration our proposal to make countering the opioid crisis a top priority for the 116th Congress.”
Cummings has been a leader in Congress in combating the opioids crisis.
On April 18, 2018, Cummings and Senator Elizabeth Warren introduced H.R. 5545, The Comprehensive Addiction Resources Emergency (CARE) Act, to begin treating the opioid crisis like the critical public health emergency it is. The CARE Act is modeled directly on the bipartisan Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency Act, which was enacted nearly 30 years ago to support federal investments and local decision-making to tackle the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
The CARE Act has been endorsed by more than 30 groups representing health care professionals, local governments, and public health advocacy organizations. Several editorial boards have supported the idea of the CARE Act, including the New York Times and the Baltimore Sun.
Click here to read today’s letter.