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Walden applauds Trump signing of opioid bills package


Rep. Greg Walden’s comprehensive legislation to combat the nationwide opioid crisis was signed into law by President Trump on Wednesday at the White House.

The Oregon Republican’s SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, which passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 393-8 in September and the Senate by a vote of 98-1 in October, represents the largest legislative effort to combat a single drug crisis in history.

Walden said in a news release Wednesday that this bill will save lives and help get communities in Oregon on the path to recovery.

“Across our district, I’ve met with the victims, families, treatment advocates, medical providers and law enforcement officers who are on the front lines of the opioid crisis in Oregon,” he said. “Today is about these people, each of whom puts a name and a face to a crisis that killed more than 72,000 people nationwide in 2017 and takes the lives of more Oregonians than traffic accidents.

“This bipartisan legislation brings critical support to the communities most desperately in need, provides new tools and resources for those on the ground in this fight, and helps stop the flow of deadly drugs across our borders. Rarely can we say that legislation will save lives, but there is no doubt that this bill will do just that. While there is much more work to be done, today is an important step forward to help stem the tide and get communities in Oregon on the road to recovery.”

Walden’s legislation, the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act (H.R. 6), is a bipartisan bill that he said will help in our overall efforts to combat the opioid crisis by advancing treatment and recovery initiatives, improving prevention, protecting our communities, and bolstering our efforts to fight deadly illicit synthetic drugs like fentanyl.

The SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act follows the passage of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act and the 21st Century Cures Act that Walden helped pass into law last Congress, the $4 billion appropriated in the government funding measure earlier this year to help combat the opioid crisis, as well as the $6.7 billion included in a recent appropriations package to boost programs that fight, treat, and stop substance abuse, and support access to mental health services.

How the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act will Help Combat the Opioid Crisis:

Treatment and Recovery

▪ Improve and expand access to treatment and recovery services

▪ Provide incentives for enhanced care, coordination, and innovation

▪ Establish comprehensive opioid recovery centers


▪ Encourage non-addictive opioid alternatives to treat pain

▪ Improve data to identify and help at-risk patients and families

▪ Address high prescribing rates while enhancing prescription drug monitoring programs

Protecting Communities

▪ Give law enforcement tools to get dangerous drugs out of our communities

▪ Better intercept illicit opioids at international mail facilities

▪ Improve access to federal resources for local communities

Fighting Fentanyl

▪ Better tackle ever-changing synthetic drugs

▪ Crack down on foreign shipments of illicit drugs

▪ Provide grants for local communities to combat fentanyl

For a section-by-section summary of Walden’s legislation, please click here. To learn more about the House’s comprehensive efforts to combat the opioid crisis, click here.

News release from Jamie McLeod-Skinner, Walden’s Democratic opponent in the Nov. 6 election:

Jamie McLeod-Skinner Statement on Opioid Legislation

Applauds bipartisan effort, calls for more action to combat national epidemic

Bend, Ore. — In response to the opioid legislation signed today by President Trump, Jamie McLeod-Skinner, Democratic candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in Oregon’s 2nd Congressional District, issues the following statement praising the bipartisan progress that Congress has made in response to this national epidemic, while pointing out that mental health and addiction experts–as well as the very members of Congress who worked on the bill–say it is not enough to impact the crisis.

” What this bill does, in the name of getting something signed in time for photo ops for this midterm election, is address a collection of second-tier issues. It does not address the fundamentals that are needed to truly impact the opioids epidemic,” McLeod-Skinner said. “Moreover, it does not guarantee the long-term funding that this crisis requires.”

“The monies appropriated in this bill are not guaranteed beyond this year. What is required to truly end this epidemic is comprehensive policy and funding modeled after Congressional response to the HIV/AIDS crisis,” McLeod-Skinner said. “Congress needs to address the significant long-term, funding gap we have in providing local communities the resources they need to expand their ability to treat this addiction, and its associated physical and mental health issues. Sadly, this epidemic will be a multi-year battle, and we need to show providers in our states that they have the full support of Congress for the long haul.”

“In the past 20 years, 4,500 Oregonians have died from an overdose on opioids, and today three die every week, while many more develop opioid use disorder. Just this past June, Rep. Walden voted against an amendment to provide long-term funding to states so that they could invest in locally designed prevention, treatment, and recovery solutions,” said McLeod-Skinner.

” As the chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which oversees the health care industry, Greg Walden has accepted $26,000 from pharmaceutical companies just in this election cycle alone, and over $1.2 million in contributions from pharmaceutical and health products companies, including opioid manufacturers, over the course of his career. Greg Walden’s actions don’t match his words. Oregonians deserve to have a representative who works for them, not special interests. ”

“Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, who worked very hard to get this bill passed, himself said this legislation is long overdue and only offers a ‘glimmer of hope,'” she said. “Given that 140 Americans die every day as a result of this heartbreaking epidemic, we need to do more.”

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