Lowey, DeLauro Demand Increased Funding to Address the Opioid Epidemic Following Trump’s Insufficient Action
WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY17) and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) today released the following statement in response to President Trump’s declaration that the opioid crisis is a public health emergency.
“As the top Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee and its Subcommittee on Labor, Health, and Education, we are concerned that President Trump’s announcement today is a weak half-measure and insufficient to meet the scale of the opioid emergency. We have a moral duty to address this crisis and save as many lives as possible.”
“While the steps outlined by the President may be helpful in some instances, without robust and dedicated funding, health care providers, treatment facilities, and others working on this multi-faceted crisis will be hamstrung in their efforts to protect American communities from the scourge of opioid addiction. Further, mere shifting of already insufficient resources threatens to hamper critical investments in other forms of health research and treatment.”
“To that end, in his next disaster supplemental request, President Trump should request emergency funding through the Public Health Emergency Fund. This Fund was established to address exactly this sort of crisis yet it has not been funded. Congresswoman DeLauro introduced the Public Health Emergency Fund Act (H.R. 3579) in July, which would provide $5 billion to the Fund.”
“Existing mandatory funding for Opioid State Grants, provided through the CURES Act, expires at the end of fiscal year 2018. This mandatory funding should be expanded and extended. Emergency funding should also supplement existing efforts at NIH, CDC, and SAMHSA, as well as programs authorized through the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA).”
“If we are to defeat this crisis, weak half-measures will not suffice. We must act aggressively and responsibly to help those who are currently addicted and protect others from this deadly affliction.”
Congresswoman Lowey is the Ranking Member on the House Appropriations Committee. Congresswoman DeLauro is the Ranking Member on the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee.