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July 31, 2020

House of Representatives Passes Trone Provision to Address Mental Health During COVID-19


Contact: Hannah Muldavin, 

House of Representatives Passes Trone Provision to Address Mental Health During COVID-19

Trone Also Secured Funding for Every County in 6th District in Government Funding Bills

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill authored by Rep. David Trone (MD-06) to establish an interagency Task Force to mitigate the effects of trauma on children and families as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill passed as part of a package of government funding legislation, which also contains major victories for every county in Maryland’s 6th District. The provisions include funding for the Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS), Fort Detrick, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). 

Trone fought to include these priorities in H.R. 7617, which totals $1.3 trillion in discretionary funding and consists of six bills to fund the federal government: Defense, Commerce-Justice-Science, Energy and Water Development, Financial Services and General Government, Labor-HHS-Education, and Transportation-Housing and Urban Development. 

“We cannot ignore the mental health impacts of this pandemic on our children and their families, and my bipartisan bill ensures we are not leaving mental health care and our children behind,” said Congressman Trone. “We also need to do everything we can to support our communities with increased access to broadband, investment in medical research, and funding to address the opioid epidemic, which is getting worse every day. These funding bills reflect the priorities I heard from our constituents. I will not stop fighting until this bill reaches the President’s desk.”

Trone’s Bill to Address Mental Health During COVID-19

Trone’s bill was a bipartisan effort with Rep. Gallagher (R-WI) that would provide $1 million for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) to implement an interagency Task Force to identify, prevent, and mitigate the effects of trauma on children and their families. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 10-15% of people exposed to a large-scale trauma like this pandemic will experience long-term mental health impacts.

You can read the bill, which was introduced as an amendment to the larger government funding bills, here.

Funding for Every County in Maryland’s Sixth District

Trone worked to support local funding in every county in Maryland’s Sixth District:

  • Garrett County: Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS): Trone fought to dedicate $100M to the Appalachian Development Highway System (ADHS), which will help complete roads in Western Maryland including 219 in Garrett County. Trone previously held bipartisan talks with neighboring states impacted by ADHS to secure the funding.
  • Allegany County and Western Maryland: High Speed Internet: Trone secured $61 billion in emergency broadband funding for the FCC to expand the availability of broadband to underserved areas like those in Western Maryland. He also secured multi-year funding for broadband mapping and replacement of telecommunications equipment deemed to pose a national security threat to the United States.
  • Washington County: SuperTruck Program: Trone secured $20M for Phase III of the Supertruck Program, which focuses on improving freight efficiency in trucks. Much of the research and development is done in Hagerstown, MD.
  • Frederick: Fort Detrick: Trone fought for a full restoration of funding for the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center at Ft. Detrick in Frederick for Biothreat Characterization Research & Development. 
  • Montgomery County: 
    • Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority: Trone helped secure $150M in funding to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) for the growing metro rider population and to help sustain this critical system during the pandemic.
    • National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST): Trone helped secure a $35M increase in NIST Scientific and Technical Research and Services (STRS) program for a total of $789M in funding. This funding supports NIST’s development of new technologies that are crucial to national defense, homeland security, trade, and innovation. The headquarters is located in Gaithersburg, MD.

Funding for the Opioid Epidemic, Mental Health, Medical Research, Criminal Justice Reform, and Other Priorities

  • Medical Research: Trone helped ensure $47B in funding to the NIH, which includes a $500M increase in regular funding and a $5M increase in emergency funding.
  • Opioid Epidemic:  Trone fought to allocate $4M for alcohol and substance use disorder research in the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program and secured a provision directing research to reduce opioid overdose deaths. Trone also requested to keep the Drug-Free Communities Program within the Office of National Drug Control Policy and increased its funding by almost $1M. He secured $5M to support the Community-Based Coalition Enhancement Program under the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act.
  • Mental Health: Trone fought for a $3M increase in funding to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network program, which supports increased access to services for children and families who experience or witness traumatic events.
  • Criminal Justice Reform: The bill includes Trone’s bill that would restore Pell Grant eligibility for incarcerated individuals. Higher education is proven to reduce recidivism and to secure employment opportunities of justice-involved individuals. Repealing the Pell ban would save states an estimated total of $365.8 million per year as a result of reduced recidivism rates and reincarceration spending. Trone originally introduced the bill in July of 2019.
  • Security Funding for Synagogues and Mosques: Trone secured $180M each in funding for the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) and the State Homeland Security Grant Program (SHSGP) NSGP. Trone’s efforts increased UASI NSGP funding by $130M and SHSGP NSGP funding by $140M from the year before. These grants provide money to organizations at high risk of terrorist attack, such as synagogues and mosques. 

Congressman David Trone was elected to the House of Representatives in November 2018 to serve the 6th District of Maryland, which includes all or part of Montgomery, Frederick, Washington, Allegany, and Garrett Counties. Trone serves on the Education and Labor, Foreign Affairs, and Joint Economic Committees, where he is fighting to make progress on issues that matter to Marylanders, including the opioid epidemic, criminal justice reform, and funding for medical research.