November 21, 2020
Trone bill for states to fight opioid epidemic unanimously passes House floor
Credit: The Garrett County Republican
WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. David Trone, D-Md., announced that his bill, the State Opioid Response Grant Authorization Act (H.R. 2466), unanimously passed the U.S. House of Representatives.
The bipartisan bill must now be passed by the U.S. Senate before heading to the president’s desk for signature.
Trone introduced the State Opioid Response Grant Authorization Act in May 2019 along with Freshmen Working Group on Addiction members Reps. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D.; Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J.; and Denver Riggleman, R-Va.
The legislation authorizes $9 billion over six years in flexible funding for State Opioid Response grants and Tribal Opioid Response grants to fight the opioid epidemic on the front lines.
This was the first of more than 50 bipartisan bills introduced by the Freshmen Working Group on Addiction, a group of more than 60 members that Trone founded when he came to Congress. Over the past two years, Trone has made fighting the opioid and addiction epidemic a top priority. Earlier this year, he was appointed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the National Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking.
“I introduced this bill when I first came to Congress because I spoke to our governor, state and county leaders, hospital administrators, direct providers, and stakeholders across the country who all said the same thing loud and clear: State, local, and tribal governments need to know the federal government will be a steady partner in the fight against addiction,” said Trone, member of the Commission to Combat Synthetic Opioid Trafficking and founder of the Freshmen Working Group on Addiction. “We need consistent, guaranteed funding because there is no magic bullet or vaccine to fix the opioid crisis that has killed over 550,000 people since 2000 and continues to get worse during the COVID-19 pandemic. I’d like to thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for unanimously passing this legislation and supporting those fighting on the front lines of the opioid epidemic in our communities.”
“I am proud to see our bill, H.R. 2466 (The State Opioid Response Grant Authorization Act of 2020), pass the House of Representatives,” said Riggleman. “I have seen how the addiction crisis has affected the friends and family members of so many. I have been personally affected by this crisis and I know the toll it takes on those affected and the people who love them. The bill that passed today starts to address some of those challenges and is a positive step towards combating the very real crisis of opioid addiction that has had devastating consequences for families across this great nation.”
“While much of our attention is rightly focused on fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, we cannot ignore the epidemic of opioid addiction and substance abuse, which are still ravaging communities across the country,” said Armstrong. “I’m happy to see the House pass our bipartisan bill to provide stable and certain funding for our state, local, and tribal governments to combat this crisis.”
“The scope and scale of the addiction epidemic demand federal action,” said Sherrill. “The COVID-19 pandemic has presented new and greater challenges in this fight. With high levels of anxiety, as well as the isolation that comes from social distancing, we need to double down on our efforts to combat the addiction crisis. I’m proud to lead this bill with Reps. Trone, Riggleman and Armstrong, and urge the Senate to pass this important legislation.”