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House Passes Walberg-Backed Bills to Combat Opioid Epidemic, Protect Most Vulnerable

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Washington, May 11, 2016 | comments

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tim Walberg (MI-07) today supported a series of bipartisan bills to combat the heroin and opioid epidemic, including legislation he helped introduce to strengthen safeguards to ensure infants born into a life of drug addiction are safely cared for and protected. H.R. 4843, the Infant Plan of Safe Care Improvement Act, will strengthen efforts to prevent and respond to child abuse and neglect by requiring the Department of Health and Human Services to ensure states are following current child welfare requirements. 

“Like many families in Michigan, I have witnessed the damaging effects heroin and opioid addiction is having on our communities, and the House is taking bipartisan action to find solutions to this public health crisis from every angle. Some of the most heartbreaking stories involve drug-dependent newborns who enter the world with all the odds stacked against them. As part of our comprehensive response, this bipartisan bill will strengthen the child welfare system to ensure vulnerable infants don’t slip through the cracks and their caregivers can get the help they need,” said Walberg.

In addition to the Infant Plan of Safe Care Improvement Act, the House has also passed the following legislation so far this week to combat the opioid epidemic, including establishing an inter-agency task force to review prescribing best practices, making it safer for veterans to seek pain management care, and more:

H.R. 4641 - To provide for the establishment of an inter-agency task force to review, modify, and update best practices for pain management and prescribing pain medication.

H.R. 4063 - Jason Simcakoski PROMISE Act
Improves the use of opioid therapy and pain management in treating veterans.

H.R. 4985 - Kingpin Designation Improvement Act 
Protects classified information in federal court involving international drug kingpins challenging their designation by the Office of Foreign Assets Control.

S. 32 - Transnational Drug Trafficking Act
Amends federal law to impose penalties for extraterritorial drug trafficking, production of precursor chemicals known to be used for illegal drugs, and known sale of a counterfeit drug.

H.R. 5048 - Good Samaritan Assessment Act
Directs GAO to study state and local Good Samaritan laws that protect caregivers, law enforcement personnel, and first responders who administer opioid overdose reversal drugs or devices from criminal liability. 

H.R. 5052 - OPEN Act
Directs the Attorney General and Secretary of Health and Human Services to evaluate the effectiveness of grant programs that provide assistance in addressing problems pertaining to opioid abuse.

A member of the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic, Congressman Walberg continues to collaborate with stakeholders at the local, state, and federal level to raise awareness and develop best practices to fight heroin and opioid addiction.

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