Rep. Costello Joins Bipartisan Colleagues of Heroin Task Force to Release Legislative Agenda
Washington, D.C. – As part of his work to fight the opioid epidemic, Rep. Ryan Costello (PA-06), a member of the Addiction, Treatment and Recovery Caucus, today joined a group of his colleagues to release the legislative agenda of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force, which includes 100 Members of Congress. The agenda includes bipartisan legislation to address the opioid epidemic by supporting prevention, treatment, recovery, and law enforcement efforts. Full details of the legislative agenda are available here.
Rep. Costello has been working in a comprehensive manner to address the epidemic by supporting medical innovation, discussing the use of medical alternatives to opioids, such as medical marijuana, hosting roundtables, and making site visits in Pennsylvania’s Sixth Congressional District to hear from those at treatment centers and various medical officials. Rep. Costello has also supported legislation in Congress, such as the 21st Century Cures Act, which has delivered millions to Pennsylvania to fight addiction.
“So many of our communities are facing the opioid epidemic. We have seen how bipartisan legislation, such as the 21st Century Cures Act and the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, have provided millions to our local first responders, medical officials, and other stakeholders in our communities who are helping families fight this epidemic. This work must continue, and this Task Force has an essential role to play in advancing bipartisan solutions,” said Rep. Ryan Costello, a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, which has worked to examine and pass legislation to address the opioid epidemic. “Focusing on the many and the multitude of aspects of this crisis is key to progress, and that’s why we are concentrating our legislative efforts in so many different directions, on both treatment and prevention, children and families, as well as veterans, law enforcement, and rural communities.”
Click above to watch an excerpt of Rep. Costello’s remarks at the press conference
“As we begin the New Year, the Bipartisan Task Force remains even more committed to fighting the opioid epidemic that has ravaged so many communities and families across the country,” said Rep. Tom MacArthur, co-chair of the Task Force. “Our agenda represents the important balance of showing compassion for those suffering with substance abuse, while stopping the flow of drugs into our neighborhoods. It’s a crucial step in this fight. Since its creation, the Bipartisan Task Force has grown to 100 members and has been able to successfully advocate against drastic cuts to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, and, shape and advance CARA and the 21st Century Cures Act through Congress. We will continue to build on these accomplishments and stand together in our fight against substance abuse.”
"The opioid epidemic has had a serious impact on communities and families throughout New Hampshire, but no corner of the country has been untouched," said Rep. Kuster, the founder and co-chair of the Task Force. "The Bipartisan Heroin Task Force represents 100 Members of Congress, both Republicans and Democrats, who are standing together to take real action to stem the tide of this crisis. Our Task Force has successfully pushed for action in Congress to address the opioid epidemic. The agenda we're outlining today comprises bipartisan, commonsense solutions that will improve prevention, expand access to treatment and recovery services, and bolster support for law enforcement. I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance these proposals."
“In 2016, more than 42,000 Americans died from an opioid overdose, including dozens right here in our community,” said Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, vice-chair of the Task Force. “It’s clear this epidemic is destroying lives and costing our nation precious resources. While our Task Force has taken great strides in increasing awareness of, and providing legislative solutions to, opioid addiction, there is still work to be done. Fighting back against this epidemic requires the clear, bipartisan approach outlined in this agenda; one that responds to the real-world concerns expressed by local lawmakers, community leaders and healthcare professionals across the country who endeavor to tackle this crisis each day.”
“The Bipartisan Heroin Task Force continues to stand together offering commonsense legislative solutions to curb the opioid epidemic because one preventable death is too many,” said Rep. Donald Norcross, vice-chair of the Task Force. “In New Jersey, deaths from heroin and fentanyl overdoses more than tripled in the last five years. That’s tragic and unacceptable. We must invest time, effort and money to save lives. Every delay means we’ll lose another child, grandchild, friend or neighbor to the disease of addiction.”