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tv   U.S. House of Representatives Legislative Business  CSPAN  May 11, 2016 2:00pm-4:01pm EDT

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have helped catch his sister's problem earlier and perhaps made counseling more effective. as it was, she was only caught because two pharmacies in a small town happened to check with each other. by then, it was too late. today this man is working to help his son with an addiction that started with a prescription for a high school sports injury. that drifted to a heroin addiction. he spoke to the importance of counseling, support, and trying to avoid addiction through better prescribing practices. echoing those sentiment, a therapist i spoke to experienced 10 years of addiction of opioids after she was prescribed a painkiller for a broken foot and then when she tried to overcome this addiction, she could not find any help. so she traveled more than five hours from millton-freewater oregon to marysville because she
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couldn't find a prescription in her region to prescribe a medicine to help break free from opioids. . it crosses all segments and regions of our country and often the disease shows no symptoms. congratulate my colleagues for their work and urge passage of this legislation. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentlelady from indiana reserves her time. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. pallone: thank you, mr. chairman. i'd like to yield three minutes to the the gentlewoman from new mexico. the chair: the gentlelady from new mexico is recognized for three minutes. >> thank you. i thank my colleague for yielding time. mr. speaker, opioid abuse has become, as we have heard today, a critical national issue. ms. graham: 78 americans are killed by heroin and prescription drug overdoses each day and drug overdoses are now the leading cause of injury related deaths in the united states. the number of unintentional
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overdose deaths from prescription painkillers almost quadrupled between 1999 and 2013. but as bad as the opioid epidemic is across the country, it is much more severe in my home state of new mexico, which has had one of the highest rates of overdose deaths in the country for several years. and unfortunately, it's getting worse. from 2013 to 2014, the death rate from drug overdoses in new mexico increased by 21%. arriba has the highest death rate in the nation, one in 500 people are dying from overdose, which is about six times the national average. the overprescription of opioids for pain management is part of the problem, and an increasing number of patients are becoming dependent on these powerfully addictive medications. in fact, 259 million opioid
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prescriptions were written in 2012. more than one for every adult in the united states. once addicted to these prescription opioids, many turn then to heroin and synthetic opioids due to their increased availability, lower price, and higher purity. we must act to respond to this public health crisis, but we need to do it in a balanced way. we need to be mindful of the millions of americans who suffer from chronic pain. we need to ensure that patients and providers continue to have access to the best, most medically appropriate course of treatment while cutting off access to those who abuse the system. this is why i strongly support h.r. 4641, which would establish an interagency task force to review and update medical best practices for pain management and prescribing pain medication. but, mr. speaker, we can't stop here. we have to do more than just study the problem because only 11% of americans who need
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treatment for substance abuse are receiving it. many of those who remain find themselves in our criminal justice system. our prisons have become de facto treatment centers, more than 65% of our prison population has a substance abuse problem. we have to provide the funds necessary to fully invest in opioid prevention, rehabilitation, and treatment programs. we have to place the support of these substance abuse treatment providers in the communities most in need, and we have to improve access to the overdose reversal drug, in analoxone, which helps save countless live every year. i urge my colleagues to support this legislation to address this disease which has decide stroid the lives of so many. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady from new mexico yields back her time. the gentleman from new jersey reserves. the gentlelady from indiana is recognized. mrs. brooks: mr. chairman, i yield one minute to the gentleman from florida. the chair: the gentleman from florida is recognized for one
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minute. mrs. brooks: thank you. thank you, mr. speaker. mr. bilirakis: i rise in support of h.r. 4641, prescription drug abuse, particularly with opioids. it's become a national epidemic, mr. speaker. it affects all of our communities. the bill before us today will authorize an important task force to determine and disseminate best practices for pain management. the need for best practice guidelines was highlighted last week during a substance abuse panel i hosted in my district with the office of national drug control policy director. one woman shared her story of addiction and struggle to receive help following a surgery she had 15 years ago as a gymnast, mr. speaker. we must give people like her the tools they need for prevention and treatment in order to stopt spread of this epidemic. i thank the gentlelady for sponsoring this bill. this bill.
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please support this great bill. thank you. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from florida yields back. the gentlelady from indiana reserves. the gentleman from new jersey. mr. pooh loan: i continue to reserve. -- mr. pallone: i continue to reserve. the chair: the gentlelady from indiana is recognized. mrs. brooks: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from north dakota. the chair: the gentleman from north dakota is recognized for two minutes. mr. cramer: thank you, mr. chairman. i thank you, mrs. brooks, for your leadership on this. mr. kennedy as well, for bringing this important legislation to our committee and to the floor. i rise to support it. with heroin addiction now being three times greater than it was a decade ago, we know it doesn't matter where you come from. whether you are on an indian reservation, a farm, middle of a city, a suburb, small town, whether are you in fargo high school, grant forks university, bismarck college, it doesn't matter what your lot in life is, your income level, doesn't
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matter what your social status is, this opioid abuse crisis affects people of all walks of life. and it's time, it's about time we acknowledge it and try to deal with it at this level. this bill is basic but pretty profound as well because it takes advantage of the collective opportunity of collective talents, experiences, backgrounds, people on the ground that are dealing with it every day. brings it all together and facilitates at every level of government, in every community and every state, whether it's north dakota or indiana or massachusetts, and it's the beginning, i believe, of a profound solution. so i just as much as anything applaud the efforts of the leadership that brought this to us and grieve with so many parents as we have heard the stories. fargo, north dakota, in that area alone, this year there have been a minimum of -- minimum of 10 fatal overdoses because of this crisis.
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i just -- i will stand shoulder to shoulder with anybody and everybody in this chamber, as well as the chamber on the other side of the capitol, to help solve this problem. with that i again thank you for the time and yield back the balance. the chair: the gentleman from north dakota yields back. the gentleman from new jersey reserves. the gentlelady from indiana is recognized. mrs. brooks: mr. chairman, i yield two minutes to the gentleman from georgia. the chair: the gentleman from georgia is recognized for two minutes. mr. carter: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise today in support of h.r. 4641 so we can continue to involve the practices of pain management and prescribing the pain medication to fight the opioid abuse epidemic in this country. as a lifelong pharmacist, i have provided medication, prescription medication, to americans for over 30 years. in that time, i personally witnessed the struggles that both medical professionals and patients face with prescription drug abuse. there are many steps must be taken to address this epidemic.
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one priority should be to also volve practices related to pain management and prescribing the pain medication. this bill does just that. this bill creates an interagency task force to continually review, modify, and update best practices for pain management and prescribing pain medication. through the new task force, experts in fields related to prescription drug abuse and pain management will be able to involve best industry practice that is will give clarity to our fight against this epidemic. i would like to commend representative brooks and the energy and commerce committee for their work on this bill and i encourage all my colleagues to support this measure. mr. speaker, i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from georgia yields back. the gentleman from new jersey continues to reserve. the chair recognizes the gentlelady from indiana. mrs. brooks: thank you, mr. chairman. i just want to thank all of my colleagues. i want to thank particularly the leadership of the committee of
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energy and commerce. there have also been other committees, the judiciary committee, that have been working on bills. this is not something that any one member of this body has truly been a leader in. so many different members have been leading on this because it has affected our communities, our families, our neighborhoods. and i just urge my colleagues to vote yes on this important bill as the gentleman from north dakota said, i think the federal government we have not done enough yet. so this will be an opportunity for us to bring together all of the federal agencies involved in this problem, which have been part of the problem. and try to change the way that our prescribers throughout the country are working on the pain management issues that the country faces. and which hopefully will yield with a much lower overdose rate which now exceeds the motor
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traffic fatalities in this country, which is the leading cause of calls to our poison centers, but more importantly it has devastated so many parents and friends who have found their friend overdosed from whether it's heroin or opioids. i'm so pleased that we are finally beginning to recognize that we cannot arrest our way out of this problem. it is a disease. it is something that so many people cannot stop on their own. they need help. and with all of these experts coming together in this task force to provide the best practices for the country, i hope we can turn the tide and save many lives. with that i'll urge passage by my colleagues and yield back. the chair: the gentlelady, mrs. brooks, from indiana yields back her time. the gentleman from new jersey, mr. pallone, is recognized for the remainder of the time. mr. pallone: thank you, mr. chairman. let me ask all my colleagues to support this bill. as i said this interagency task force is an important part of this larger opioid package that
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we produced in the energy and commerce committee on a bipartisan basis. i know the rest of those bills are going to come up on suspension, or most of them, this afternoon. i can't emphasize enough the importance of this package as well as this bill is part of it. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from new jersey, mr. pallone, yields back his time. all time for general debate has expired. pursuant to the rule, the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute rule. it shall be in order to consider as an original bill for the purpose of amendment under the five-minute rule the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the committee on energy and commerce printed in the bill. the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be considered as read. no amendment to the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be in order except those printed in part a of house report 114-551. each such amendment may be
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offered only in the order printed in the report, by a member designated in the report, shall be considered as read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent. shall not be subject to amendment, and shall not be subject to demand for division of the question. it is now in order to consider amendment number 1 printed in art a of house report 114-551. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california seek recognition? ms. brownley: mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. the clerk: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 1, printed in part a of house report 115-551. offered by ms. brownley of california. the chair: the gentlewoman from california, ms. brownley, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlelady from california. ms. brownley: thank you, mr. chairman. i rise to offer a very straightforward amendment to h.r. 4641. the amendment would include the office of women's health in the
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interagency task force created under the bill. as we all know, the underlying bill includes a list of federal agency representatives to be included in the interagency task force, which will review, modify, and update best practices for pain management and prescribing pain medication. however, the bill does not currently include the office of women's health. the office of women's health within the u.s. department of health and human services was established in 1991 to improve the health of women by advancing and coordinating a comprehensive women's health agenda to address health care prevention and service delivery. the office of women's health works with numerous government agency, nonprofit organizations, consumers groups, and associations of health care professionals to coordinate and advance policies in programs that best meet the unique health
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care needs of women. as a national leader in the health of women and girls, the office of women's health has critical specialized expertise that will help the interagency pain management task force address the unique pain management needs of women who may be pregnant or who may be nursing. this expertise is desperately needed because opioid abuse among women has increased substantially in recent years. in fact, according to the centers for disease control and prevention, the number of women who fall victim to an opioid related fatality increased an alarming 400% from 1999 to 2010, totaling 48,000 women who have died during that span of time. . during this decade, opioid abuse among women increased
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more than heroin and cocaine. in 2010 18 women per day died of a prescription painkiller overdose, accounting for nearly 7,000 women in total. it is critically important that we include experts of women's health in the opioid task force. women who are pregnant or who may be nursing have specialized health care needs and the office of women's health is uniquely qualified to ensure that interagency task force takes the needs of women and girls into account as it examines best practices for pain management and prescribing pain medication. i urge my colleagues to support this commonsense amendment, and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady from california reserves her time. for what purpose does the gentlelady from indiana seek recognition? mrs. brooks: i claim the time in opposition but i support the amendment. the chair: without objection, the gentlelady is recognized. mrs. brooks: at this time i would like to thank the gentlelady for the amendment.
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i think it strengthens the bill. i think it is very important that the office of women's health is added to the task force. so many of us have had the opportunity to visit nick ues in hospitals and -- nicus in hospitals and have seen drug-addicted babies. i believe that office of women's health is critically important. so far women's health has not been given the proper attention it deserves, and i would ask for support of the amendment and i yield back. the chair: the gentlelady yields back her time. the gentlelady from california is recognized. ms. brownley: i yield the manager here a minute of my time. the chair: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for one minute. mr. pallone: thank you, mr. chairman. i just want to urge all my colleagues on this side of the aisle to support the bill as well. thank you. i yield back. the chair: the gentlelady from california is recognized. bounlbounl i thank the gentleman from new jersey and -- ms. brownley: i thank the gentleman from new jersey and thank the gentlelady from indiana. you know, it -- i think we all
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realize the importance of ensuring this interagency task force is effective and works in , i think, the eyes on specific health care needs of women and girls are most important. i thank you both. the chair: does the gentlelady yield back her time? ms. brownley: i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the time is yielded back. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlelady from california. those in favor say aye. chopes. -- those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to.
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mrs. brooks: mr. chairman. the chair: for what purpose does the gentlelady from indiana seek recognition? mrs. brooks: i have an amendment at the desk, amendment number 14. the chair: is the gentlewoman rising as the designee of mr. carter from georgia? ms. brook: that is correct, mr. chairman. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the chair: amendment number 2 printed in part a of house report 114-551 offered by mrs. brooks of indiana. -- the clerk: amendment number 2 printed in part a of house report 114-551 offered by mrs. brooks of indiana. the chair: pursuant to house
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resolution 720, the gentlelady from indiana, mrs. brooks, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlelady from indiana. mrs. brooks: thank you, mr. chairman. this amendment simply would require that any of the individuals who are appointed to the task force -- to the task force under 4641, whether they be a physician, a dentist, a nonphysician prescriber or pharmacist who is eventually appointed by the lead of health and human services, that that individual shall be a licensed -- a licensed prescriber and practicing in their appropriate state or that they at a minimum should have an active license and that they should be a practicing prescriber in that state. and with that i would urge my colleagues to adopt this amendment. the chair: and the gentlelady reserves? mrs. brooks: i do reserve. the chair: does any member seek
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recognition in opposition to the amendment? mr. pallone: mr. chairman, i rise in opposition but i support the amendment. i'd urge my colleagues to support the amendment. the chair: without objection, the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. pallone: and i would ask that my colleagues support the amendment and yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back his time. the gentlelady from indiana is recognized. mrs. brooks: i yield the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlelady from indiana, mrs. brooks. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to. it's now in order to consider amendment number 3 printed in part a of house report 114-551. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? mr. grayson: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 3
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printed in part a of house report 114-551 offered by mr. grayson of florida. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 720, the gentleman from florida, mr. grayson, and a member opposed, will each control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida. mr. grayson: thank you, mr. chair. my amendment would ensure that first responders are included for membership on the pain management best practices interagency task force. this is a commonsense amendment. first responders, like police officers, other emergency room staff, are the first on the scene when a person overdoses and they are the first to administer emergency treatment and resuscitation programs. these are the people who have first contact with the victims of opioid overdoses. it would make sense that if we're putting together a task force to address the terrible opioid problem and specifically pain management best practices, we should include the views and opinions of those first on the scene and in the best position to save lives. being first on the scene to
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overdose emergencies, first responders often interact with patients in pain. yet, most first responders, especially e.m.s. responders, have no pain management standard on accreditation. it does not include a pain management standard as part of the clinical assessment nor is pain management part of the e.m.s. education. as a result, first responder attitudes vary. according to a 2012 yale study there is a widespread e.m.s. e within the community to administer opioids to those who would legitimately need it for fear they are addicts who want drugs. often, it's not knowing if a patient is an addict or even if the patient is -- whether the addict is also experiencing legit mate pain. this level -- legitimate pain. this level of uncertainty within the first responder
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community, along with the unique experience and insight into the opioid epidemic warrants the inclusion of first responders to the pain management best practices interagency task force membership. this is very simple, mr. chair. we're putting together a pain management best practices interagency task force. we should include police officers. we should include paramedics. we should include people who are on front lines of fighting this battle every day, that's a battle of life and death. i urge the support of my amendment, and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from florida reserves his time. for what purpose does the gentlelady from indiana seek recognition? mrs. brooks: claim the time in opposition but for the record i support the amendment. the chair: and the gentlelady yields back? mrs. brooks: and i yield back. the chair: and the gentleman from florida is recognized for the balance of the time. mr. grayson: i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back his time. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from florida, mr. grayson. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no.
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in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to. it is now in order to consider amendment number 4 printed in 551. a of house report 114- for what purpose does the gentlelady from massachusetts seek recognition? ms. clark: mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 4 printed in part a of house report 114-551 offered by ms. clark of massachusetts. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 720, the gentlelady from massachusetts, ms. clark, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlelady from massachusetts. ms. clark: thank you, mr. chairman. and a special thanks to congresswoman brooks and congressman kennedy and
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congressman pallone for introducing this important bipartisan bill to address a devastating public health crisis. the opioid epidemic is a scourge on this country. in my district alone, 400 last have died in the four years as a direct result. and we all know there's no silver bullet to fix this problem, but what we can do and what we must do is find every possible way to help those people all right affected and stop it from reaching more victims. when substance abuse disorders start in adolescence, it affects key development and societal changes in young people's lives. it can interfere with the brain's ability to mature properly and have potentially life-long consequences. we know that a large majority of adults in substance abuse treatment start using prior to
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the age of 18, and we need to make sure that the voices of adolescence and young adults are heard in this conversation. the underlying bill establishes a pain management task force that will include many different stakeholders and experts. amendment would add an expert in adolescent and young adult addiction and a person in recovery from addiction to medication for chronic pain that began in adolescents or young adulthood to the bill's list of experts. this amendment would also call on the task force to consider the distinct needs of adolescents and young adults as it develops best practices for pain management and medication. mr. chairman, this is a commonsense amendment to help our young people dealing with this epidemic. i urge its passage and i reserve the balance of my time.
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the chair: the gentlelady from massachusetts reserves her time. does anyone seek time in opposition? the gentlelady from indiana. mrs. brooks: i claim the time in opposition but i do support the amendment. the chair: the gentlelady from indiana is recognized. mrs. brooks: i very much want to thank the gentlelady from massachusetts, ms. clark. i believe that this does strengthen the task force. i appreciate and welcome the attention and focus on adolescence. we had the opportunity to travel to the n.i.h. and to learn so much about the research that is being done there and i believe that having an expert in adolescent and young adult addiction, because we do know that it so very often begins, and so i appreciate and thank you for strengthening the bill and with that i yield back. the chair: the gentlelady from indiana yields back her time. the gentlelady from massachusetts is recognized. ms. clark: i yield back my time. the chair: the gentlelady yields back her time. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlelady from massachusetts. those in favor say aye.
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those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. the chair: it's now in order to consider amendment number 5 house in part a of report 114-551. for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey seek recognition? mr. pallone: mr. chairman, i'd like to rise as the designee of mr. moulton to move his amendment number 5. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 5 printed in part a of house report 114-551 offered by mr. pallone of new jersey. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 720, the gentleman from new jersey, mr. pallone, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes.
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the chair recognizes the gentleman from new jersey. mr. pallone: thank you, mr. chairman. this amendment by mr. moulton of massachusetts would basically add representatives of veteran service organizations to the pain management best practices interagency task force that we have discussed and that we support on a bipartisan basis. i would urge support for mr. moulton's amendment and reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. does anyone seek recognition in opposition of the amendment? . mrs. brooks: i claim time in opposition but support the amendment. gentlelady from indiana is recognized. mrs. brooks: while the task force was designed with the veterans administration as a key member of the task force, i do believe that this bill would strengthen the task force in that representatives from veterans services organizations often speak on behalf of and are the first line of defense and advocates for veterans. and obviously as we know veterans seek their medical
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treatment, often from v.a. hospitals and v.a. facilities. we know that there has been a significant problem with overprescribing at some of our v.a. facilities. so i believe that this amendment will strengthen the task force and the bill and i would urge passage or adoption of the amendment and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from indiana yield back -- the chair: the gentlelady from indiana yields back her time of the the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. pallone: i would like to yield such time as he may consume to the sponsor of the amendment, the gentleman from massachusetts. the chair: the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized for as much time as he wishes to use. mr. moulton: thank you, mr. chairman. the addiction epidemic has touched every community and demographic in america. but our veterans have been hit particularly hard. veterans suffer from chronic pain at a higher rate than the civilian population, often due to injuries they sustained during their service. this puts our veterans at high risk of developing addiction and presents unique challenges as they search for ways to cope
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with the pain caused by the wounds of war. the results of veteran addiction are tragic. approximately 68,000 veterans struggle with opioid use. veterans will -- are almost twice as likely to die from accidental opioid overdoses than nonveterans. we need to do more to ensure we are not losing veterans to the disease of addiction while also ensuring they get the absolute best care possible when they return home. that's why it is imperative that the veteran community has a seat at the table as we begin the process of reviewing and updating our pain management best practices. by adding a representative of a veterans service organization to the interagency task force created by this bill, my amendment will ensure that the unique challenges our veterans face are part of the conversation. in closing, i'd like to thank my colleagues, representatives zeldin and representative walz, for their bipartisan
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co-shonsorship and the iraq and afghanistan veterans of america, vietnam veterans of america, american legion, paralyzed veterans of america, and boston scientific for their support of this amendment. i urge my colleagues to support this amendment and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new jersey controls the time and is recognized. mr. pallone: mr. chairman, i would urge support for the amendment and yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from new jersey yields back the time. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from new jersey, mr. pallone. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have t the amendment is agreed to -- have it. the amendment is agreed to. it is now in order to consider amendment number 6 printed in art a of house report 114-551. for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota seek recognition? mr. nolan: mr. speaker, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 6 printed in part a of house
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report number 114-551, offered by mr. nolan of minnesota. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 720, the gentleman from minnesota, mr. nolan, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from n minnesota. mr. nolan: thank you, mr. speaker. members of the house, my amendment simply would ensure that the concerns and interests of active duty members of our armed forces and veterans have their interests and concerns taken into consideration by the interagency task force. the simple truth is is that there's a greater need and use andpioids among active duty veterans of our armed forces simply because of the many serious accidents and injuries that they incur in combat and in training.
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over half of the iraq and afghanistan veterans have had to use opioids as painkillers from the accidents and the injuries that they have suffered. that's well over a half million of our finest and bravest citizens here in this country. and an 80% increase in its use over the last decade. i might -- i would be remiss if i didn't paint out as well that overdose -- point out as well that overdose from opioids is twice the rate among our active duty service members and veterans of the general population. and also i would be remiss if i didn't point out that because of problems that we have been seeing in the veterans administration with veterans having difficult times, sometimes getting appointments, to get their prescriptions filled, they have been tragically forced to go to
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alternative street measures, including heroin, with disastrous consequences for our soldiers and our veterans. so our veterans, our men and women of the armed forces, deserve better. this is a growing problem, growing concern, and my amendment would simply require that they be represented on this interagency task force so that their interest, their concerns can be properly reflected and reported in the findings and the results of this interagency task force. with that, mr. speaker, i yield to our majority leader over here at the moment. the chair: does the gentleman reserve his time? mr. nolan: i reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves his team. who seeks time in opposition to the amendment? mrs. brooks: mr. chairman, i claim time in opposition but i support the amendment as well. the chair: the gentlelady is
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recognized. mrs. brooks: thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank the gentleman from minnesota for strengthening the representation on the task force. while i do feel that the v.s.o.'s are strong voice for veterans and will continue to be, i believe the addition specifically of active duty military is something that would very strong voice, and while d.o.d. is represented on the task force, i think actually having a specific active duty military personnel and those who are currently serving or currently dealing with their pain as a result of their service would be an important addition. with that i thank the gentleman. and i urge passage of the amendment and yield whack -- back. the chair: the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. miss nolan: i want to thank the gentlewoman from, mrs. brooks, from indiana for her leadership on this important issue and support of this important amendment. most importantly the great work she's doing here on behalf of our veterans and our men and women in the armed forces. thank you very much. with that, mr. speaker, i yield
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the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is on the amendment gentleman from minnesota, mr. nolan. so many as are in favor say aye those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. it is now in order to consider amendment number 7 printed in part a of house report 114-551. for what purpose does the gentlelady from new jersey seek recognition? mrs. watson coleman: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 7 printed in part a of house report number 114-551, offered by mrs. watson coleman of new jersey. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 720, the gentlewoman from new jersey, mrs. watson coleman, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlelady from new jersey. mrs. watson coleman: thank you, mr. chair. this amendment would simply ensure that as we address what
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has rightly been called a epidemic we consider the unique impacts and issues of drug addiction for minority communities by adding an expert on the minority health to the task force status created by this bill. the dangers of opiate addiction are apparent across the board. abusive prescription ole yachts has contributed to a flood of cheap heroin to our communities. over the past four years we have seen 269% increase in heroin overdose deaths in white communities, but also a 213% in black communities, 137% increase in latino communities, and 236% n native american communities. with that in mind, it's important to remember that the opiate epidemic, both heroin and prescription painkiller counterparts, looks very
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different from the perspective of communities of color. the compassion we are showing now and the evidence based solutions we are embracing were needed long ago, way before abuse by predominantly white in suburban communities. as we crack the tools to solve this crisis, we must ensure the policies we create will help everyone affected. adding an expert in majority health to this -- minority health to this task force helps to ensure the diverse needs of all americans are represented at the table. we still live in a world of significant biases. just last month the university of virginia released a study that found a white medical student and residents generally believe that black patients were less sensitive to pain and had less sensitive nerve endings than white patients. bearing out at least one reason for the consistently documented lack of pain management provided to black patients. as we give this task force the vital task of improving how we prescribe some of the most powerful and critical medication for pain management, let's do
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our part to eliminate as much bias as possible. this amendment takes an important step toward reaching that goal and i hope my colleagues would support that. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady from new jersey reserves her time. anyone seek recognition? opposition of the amendment? for what purpose does the gentlelady from indiana seek recognition? mrs. brooks: mr. chairman, i claim time in opposition but i support the amendment. the chair: the gentlelady from indiana is recognized. mrs. brooks: i'd like to thank the gentlelady from new jersey for this important addition to the task force. i think that she has brought forth some interesting points and some statistics with respect to the opioid abuse and addiction problems facing the minority community and minority health expert that is very focused on this would add tremendous expertise to the depth of this task force. so with that i support the amendment and yield back. the chair: the gentlelady yields back her time of the the gentlelady from new jersey is recognized. mrs. watson coleman: thank you. i thank the gentlelady from indiana for her leadership and for her support of this
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initiative. let me close by adding this. we are considering a number of bills this week to curing the opiate and heroin epidemics ravaging so many american families. we need to consider two things, first, communities of color have unique meeds and deserve as much consideration. that's why i offered this amendment and it's a theme i hope to see continued in other legislation we'll debate. the second is that when we head back to our districts on friday after completing consideration of these bills, we should not wash our hands and walk away from this issue, we need to fund the programs. we need to look back with a critical eye the ways we criminalize addictions in the past and over those solutions that will allow them to re-enter society. or our work cannot stop there. i urge my colleagues to support this amendment and with that i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady yields back her time. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlelady from new jersey, mrs. watson coleman.
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so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed . -- is agreed to. it's now in order to consider amendment number 8 printed in part of house report 114-551. for what purpose does the gentlelady from new hampshire seek recognition? me.kuster: excuse i i have an amendment at the desk. amendment number 21, and offer that amendment at this time. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 8, printed in part a of house report number 114-551, offered by ms. kuster of new hampshire. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 720, the gentlewoman from new hampshire, ms. kuster, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlelady from new hampshire. ms. kuster: thank you, mr. chair. the underlying bill before us authorizes creation of an
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interagency task force to combat the opiate epidemic, and i want to commend the gentlelady from indiana and our colleague from massachusetts, mr. kennedy, for their hard work on this issue. a small step -- this important legislation will make it easier to tackle this crisis in a holistic way that addresses all angles of the crisis, including law enforcement, education and prevention, and most importantly treatment and lifelong recovery. i thank congressman brooks and congressman kennedy for their great work on this bill as well as the leadership of the chair and ranking member. in fact, a similar provision of this legislation was included in the stop abuse act that i introduced with my colleague, mr. guinta, last year. today he has joined me in introducing this important bipartisan amendment that will of the improve the scope task force effort. in new hampshire and across the country, four out of every five
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heroin users start out with prescription opioid medication. last year, more than 25,000 people died across this country from overdoses on prescription drugs. there are complex reasons why we have seen such a dramatic rise in prescription drug misuse, but one of the cause that is we must exam more closely is prescribing practices and overprescribing. i recently joined my colleague, congressman mooney of west virginia, in introducing legislation that would address this problem. this amendment with mr. gunta would shed a new light on prescription drug misuse by requiring this task force to research addiction trends in communities with high rates of prescription drug misuse and overdoses. this research will be invaluable in the effort to identify why this crisis is tting certain regions of our country particularly hard.
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i thank my colleagues for taking on such important legislation this week. i urge support for our amendment, and i yield two minutes of my time to my colleague from new hampshire, congressman gunta. the chair: the gentleman from new hampshire is recognized for two minutes. mr. guinta: thank you very much. i want to rise in support of the amendment offered by my colleague, congresswoman kuster, and myself, originally part of the stop abuse act that we authored earlier this year, as previously mentioned. this amendment would simply require the task force to research addiction trends in communities with high rates of prescription drug abuse. in our home state of new hampshire, much of the heroin abuse we have seen today can be tracked back to the overprescriptions of narcotic drugs. this trend, which began in the 1990's, paved the way for rampant heroin abuse that we are seeing today. last year, as you know, 434 people in our state died of a drug overdose and this year that number is expected to be
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exceeded. so this amendment would research these trends so we can work to resolve the problem before the epidemic continues and expands. i would urge my colleagues to support this important want to and, again, i thank the gentlelady from new hampshire for her tireless work not just here but on the bipartisan task force to combat heroin. we are clearly providing options and solutions to help those families in need and i yield back. thank you very much. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentlelady from new hampshire is recognized. ms. kuster: thank you, mr. guinta. i'll just close by thanking mrs. brooks for her leadership, mr. kennedy for his leadership in offering this legislation and thank you, mr. guinta, for this amendment. i urge our colleagues to support this bipartisan amendment that will allow us to understand the underlying increase in the use of opioid medication and prescription drugs that are leading people intotoubstance use disorder and ultimately sadly into the use
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of heroin and fentanyl that is killing so many people in our homes and communities. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. the question son the amendment offered by the gentlelady from new hampshire. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. -- the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlelady from new hampshire. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. it is now in order to consider amendment number 9 printed in part a of house report 114-551. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. schiff: mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 9 printed in part a of house report 114-551 offered by mr. schiff of california. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 720, the gentleman from california, mr. schiff, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. schiff: i thank the chairman. i rise today to offer an
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amendment to h.r. 4641 that will require the interagency task force, created by this legislation, to study and report on the coordination of information collected from state prescription drug monitoring programs, or pdmp's, as part of its effort to update est practices for pain management strategies. state pdmp's play a critical role in preventing the diversion of pain medication as well as other controlled substances. chief among their benefits, access to a state pdmp provides an invaluable resource to prescribing physicians by allowing them to review a patient's history with prescription drugs and to spite signs of opioid abuse so they may proactively refer a patient to a substance abuse treatment if appropriate. they allow medical professionals to intervene before an addiction spirals out of control. now active in 49 states, pdmp's can also inform prescribing physicians if a patient has
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recently accessed pain medication elsewhere and help detect potential doctor shopping activities by individuals with no legitimate medical need. further, pdmp's play an important role in identifying forged or stolen prescriptions. while information sharing between some adjacent state pdmp's currently exist to prevent doctor shopping from occurring across state lines, i think we should boost the sharing information -- of information across all pdmp's. i met with physicians from my district who discussed how prevalent the issue of doctor shopping is, particularly in the state of california, and how it is becoming more and more common with individuals with history of opioid abuse to attempt to receive prescriptions in nearby states. with passage of this amendment, i urge the task force to explore the benefits of potentially establishing a national pdmp that will vastly improve our ability to prevent
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and disincentivize doctor shopping in all regions of the country, and i look forward to working with other concerned members on this important topic. by requiring the interagency task force include consideration of what's now being done to coordinate state pdmp information as it its expert input to improve prescribing guidelines, we'll be better understand what is and isn't work and harness state pdmp's to develop an effective national response to the opioid crisis that has devastated communities across the country. it is beyond doubt that prescription drug monitoring programs serve an invaluable purpose and any effort to address overprescription must include important data that's gleaned across states. while i hope this congress will provide the necessary resources to ensure we're able to develop and implement a comprehensive plan to prevent opioid addiction and increase access to treatment, the recommendations developed by the task force created under
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this bill are an important initial step that must come to pass before achieving that goal. i urge support for the amendment and for the bill and reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from indiana seek recognition? mrs. brooks: mr. chairman, i claim the time in opposition but i am in support of the amendment. the chair: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized. mrs. brooks: thank you. i'd like to thank the gentleman from california for offering this amendment. we know from talking to a lot of physicians and medical educators as well that the use of these pdmp's is a critically important tool in their tool chest to combat against those patients who might be doctor shopping. and so we know, though, that not all states use it, not all prescribers actually check that pdmp system like they should, and so i appreciate the congressman's concept of a feasibility study as to whether or not there should be a national pdmp system and i look forward and urge its passage. with that i yield back.
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the chair: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. schiff: i thank the gentlewoman for her support as well as all of her good work in trying to address the opioid crisis in the united states, and i'm also happy to yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from california. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to. it is now in order to consider amendment number 10 printed in part a of house report 114-551. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from massachusetts seek recognition? ms. clark: thank you, mr. chairman. i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 10 printed in part a of house report 114-551 offered by ms. clark of massachusetts. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 720, the gentlewoman from massachusetts, ms. clark, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes.
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the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from massachusetts. ms. clark: thank you, mr. chairman. my amendment is simple. it directs the task force to consider any potential benefits from increasing the electronic prescribing of opioids. the ow that with increasing sophistication of health information technology we have an opportunity to use that information for the benefit of our public health, and we also know that paper prescriptions are subject to being stolen, copied and misused. t while that is fact, 67% of prescriptions nationally are ordered electronically, but the rate for controlled substances is less than 1%. electronic prescribing of opioids has the potential to provide data to help us identify problems, whether from a user or a prescriber, and focus our interventions, saving
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lives and preventing addiction. back home in my district, cambridge health alliance has adopted electronic prescriptions for controlled substances, and they have found t reduces fraud and allows administrators to track prescription patterns and detect overprescribing. electronic prescriptions can be a key tool in fighting this epidemic, and i urge my colleagues to support this commonsense amendment and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman reserves the baffle her time. does any member seek recognition in opposition? seeing none, the gentlewoman from massachusetts is recognized. ms. clark: i yield back my time. the chair: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from massachusetts. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to. it is now in order to consider
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amendment number 11 printed in part a of house report 114-551. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. rothfus: mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 11 printed in part a of house report 114-551 offered by mr. rothfus of pennsylvania. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 720, the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. rothfus, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. rothfus: thank you, mr. chairman. i also want to thank my good friend from indiana for her leadership on this very important piece of legislation as well as the chairman and ranking member of the committee for working together to bring it to the floor today. the united states is being ravaged by skyrocketing levels of prescription opioid and heroin abuse. this brutal epidemic has accounted for more than 28,000 american deaths in 2014, destroying families and devastating local communities alike. my constituents in western pennsylvania have been particularly hard hit. in the past two decades, there
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has been a 470% increase in drug overdose deaths. the vast majority of these have been heroin and opioid-related. two weeks ago at a local hospital in my district, five overdose patients were treated in one day alone. in february, the same facility treated 20 overdoses in just two days. we need meaningful and evidence-based solutions to combat this scourge. i have worked to help develop those solutions as part of the bipartisan task force to combat the heroin epidemic and by holding roundtables with stakeholders in my district. i strongly believe that the legislation we are considering today is another step forward in that process by creating an interagency task force to review and update best practices for pain management and for prescribing pain medication. as part of the work, the task force will consider various types of data and practices. for instance, it lust consider the classes of opioids. it must also -- it must consider the classes of opioids
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and how it is managed by medical professionals. the legislation has been silent on naloxone, however, and thus the amendment i offer with my friend from massachusetts, mr. keating, simply seeks to have a task force take into consideration the practice of co-prescribing this life-saving drug as part of its work. naloxone has the ability to provide -- revive a victim who has suffered an overdose within minutes. it's both safe and effective and has been used successfully to counteract 26,000 overdoses between 1996 and 2014. first responders who have seen what naloxone can do has referred to it as the miracle drug. national stante national groups ve -- national and state groups have used it. considering the practice of co-prescribing naloxone, particularly for high risk populations or when other avenues of treatment have been tried and failed has been a part of using best practices
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for co-prescribing naloxone, the interagency task force can ensure health prolvingsals at all levels, both -- professionals at all levels, both in and outside of government, simply put, americans are struggling with opioid and heroin addiction cannot be treated if they lose their lives to a drug overdose. it's essential we get naloxone into the hands who need it the most in a safe and effective manner. my amendment would ensure that the task force takes a close look at this. with that i reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from massachusetts seek recognition? mr. keating: mr. speaker, i rise to support mr. rothfus' amendment to house 4641. the chair: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. keating: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd like to thank my colleague from pennsylvania, mr. rothfus. i rise today in support of this amendment, our amendment, and it's an amendment that i believe will move the task force to consider the practice of co-prescribing of overdose
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reversal drugs, such as naloxone, as part of the review of its best practices for pain management and for prescribing pain medication. importantly, the medical community now realizes the need to be -- having this important guideline in place and have them being addressed as over 80% of the a.m.a. members have indicated they see the need for these guidelines now and the importance in terms of lifesaving. as a former district attorney, i took a public health approach a decade and a half ago starteding an earnt heroin task force at the time in our state two people on average were dying every day from these overdoses. in the lax few years that's increased to four people a day. as a congressman it hits close to home to me because the latest
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stat says a quarter of the overdose deaths in massachusetts occurred in my district, over a quarter in fall river and new bedword alone. nearly twice the statewide average in cape cod where the highest percentage of per capita rate of overdose occurs represent significant part of the epidemic in our commonwealth. going forward, mr. rothfus and i introduced co-prescribing saves lives act legislation to require federal health agencies including h.h.s., the department of defense and the d.a. to create guidelines for co-prescribing in a lox sewn alongside -- naloxone alongside havees, so the states will the resources to do the same. as our partnership shows, in an often-divided congress, we're coming together. we're coming together to confront a uniquely american ep
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democrat ex. with that, i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman is recognized. mr. rothfus: naloxone is recognizeds as one of the best ways to reduce opioid deaths. i urge my colleagues to support this commonsense, bipartisan amendment. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from pennsylvania. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to. it is now in order to consider amendment number 12 printed in part a of house report 114-551. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from massachusetts seek recognition? ms. clark: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 2
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printed in part a of house report 114-551, offered by ms. clarke of massachusetts. the chair: pursuant to the resolution, the gentlewoman from massachusetts, ms. clarke, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. ms. clark: thank you, mr. chairman my amendment would direct the task force to consider the programs and research relative to adolescents and young adults. we know that addiction and recovery often start early and we need to focus research on how to address the unique needs -- unique needs of our adolescents and young adult. we need to understand how years of opioid abuse can affect the development of the brain, how it affects the development of coping skills, and how we can best support our kids in long-term recovery. most importantly, there are many gaps in research on this subject and we need to know the status of the current research and where we need to focus our resources. recently, i met a constituent
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named ryan. in seventh grade he started taking drugs. when he did, he told me he felt like he finally fit in. like he found the answer to the problems he felt and the pain he felt. by the time he was 13, he started drinking, taking pills, and stealing money from his family. his mother was panicked. the minute he walked out of the house, he had to get high. he also felt powerless. at 15, he became convinced he was a bad person. he felt ashamed that he couldn't change, not even for his mother. the last time he relapsed he, told his mom, his mom told him he couldn't see friends anymore and he threw a piece of tpwhrass at her. she looked him in the eyes and said, i don't know who you are anymore. he went into treatment for three additional months and that treatment is what changed his life. he said that it saved him.
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one day at the sober house, he remembers sincerely laughing for the first time and he thought, there's hope for me. all these little thing he is forgot about himself. like humor, kindness, and empathy. he said, i no longer felt like a shell of a person. and he asked for our leadership for two things. the people in recovery need not to be ashamed, it's not what the fines them, even when their addiction starts very young. and that we need to come up with funding for treatment. ryan is an inspiration to me, and we owe it to the young victims of this epidemic to focus on the unique impact of this public health crisis on adolescents and young adults. i urge my colleagues to support this commonsense amendment and i eserve the balance of my time.
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the chair: the gentlewoman reserves. for what purpose does the gentlewoman rise? ms. brooks: i support the amendment but rise to claim time in opposition. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized. miss brooks: as the gentlewoman spoke she reminded me of a visit i made to a recovery high school. there are more recovery high schools being created across the country. but i think when i visited the recovery high school in indianapolis, called hope academy, it reminded me as i listened to these young people of the very different needs, the very, very serious desire they have to find themselves again, as you just stated. a young woman who was turning 17 the next day shared that it was going to be her first birthday in three years where she would be sober and she thanked her classmates and her colleagues there as they sat in that circle and asked that they help her make sure that she didn't go home that night and relapse
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because she couldn't remember a birthday, really, where she had been sober. so i do believe that having more studies specifically with respect to the programs and the research about adolescents and young adults is critically important because that's where it all starts. with that, i support this amendment and yield back. the chair: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentlewoman from massachusetts is recognized. ms. clark: thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank the gentlewoman from indiana for her leadership and advocacy and my good friend and colleague from the commonwealth of massachusetts, mr. kennedy, for his as well. thank you, this bill and your work will make an incredible difference to families across the country. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman yields back. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from massachusetts. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to.
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it is now in order to consider amendment number 13 printed in part a of house report 114-551. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from connecticut seek recognition? ms. esty: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 13 printed in house report 114-551, offered by ms. esty of connecticut. the chair: pursuant to the resolution, the gentlewoman from connecticut and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from connecticut. ms. esty: thank you, mr. chairman. i rise today in support of my amendment which would empower the interagency task force to help communities spread awareness about the dangers of drug addiction through consumer education and help medical providers more effectively and safely address patient pain management. along with my colleague, representative knight, i proudly
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introduce this amendment that was inspired by bipartisan legislation that i introduced earlier this year with representatives knight and costello and that was identified as a legislative priority by the bipartisan task force to combat the heroin epidemic that i proudly serve on with so many of my colleagues here in the house. mr. chairman, there is not a community in this great country that hasn't been touched by drug addiction. not one. addiction knows no bounds. it knows no race, no gender, no economic status, no party affiliation. in january, i was honored to have james wardwell, the chief of police in new brit britain, connecticut, join me for the president's state of the union address, and he came to join me because of his leadership and his concern about the need to address this growing public health crisis. chief wardwell and many other
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first responders, medical professionals, substance abuse counselors, family members and recovering addicts have worked with me to help craft legislation to address our growing epidemic of prescription drug and heroin addiction. i am glad that today this house is taking action. today's legislation is an example of what we in congress are supposed to be doing. our job is to work together. democrats and republicans. to address the needs of the american people. whenever i go home to central and northwest connecticut, a community -- at community forums in torington, at other events, constituents come up to me and ask, what are you in congress doing to help our families with the heroin epidemic? the families in connecticut and across this country who are losing loved ones to drug
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addiction cannot afford for us to wait. we need to act now. recovering from addiction is possible but it is hard. so much of our effort to combat drug addiction is focused on helping folks get the treatment they need and that is important, but it is not enough. to treat the crisis we must help people from getting addicted in the first place. in our bipartisan -- and our bipartisan amendment does just that. by directing the interagency task force to establish guidelines that help prescribers more effectively and safely manage their patients' aim and that strengthens consumer education about opioid addiction. our amendment takes an important step toward preventing drug addiction. those who prescribe narcotics would benefit from increased education about the dangers of addiction and ways in which they can help minimize the risk associated with prescribing narcotics. those hardest hit by this
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epidemic would benefit from having access to educational materials in our schools, community centers, and from local law enforcement. it helps warn people about the dangers of opioid use and addiction. i'm very encouraged that the house and senate are taking action to address this public health crisis, and i'll continue doing everything within my power to make addiction prevention a priority. opioid and heroin addiction have already taken so many young lives and nodelessly torn apart so many families. we can't wait for more lives to be destroyed before we take action. let's work together today to prevent our children, our students, our patients, our neighbors, our families, and our friends from becoming victim of the terrible public health crisis. let's work together today to stop drug addiction before it begins. thank you and i yield back -- i
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reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman reserves the balance of her time. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from indiana seek recognition? ms. brooks: i claim time in opposition but i support the amendment. the chair: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. brooks: i'd like to thank the gentlelady from connecticut for this important amendment. certainly the interagency task force, besides producing best practices and reviewing and modifying and talking about them, it's not just to generate a report that congress will have, as i've said, sitting on a shelf someplace and that our staff or congressional research service can look at and study. it's meant to educate the public. to educate the public whether or not they are people in schools, whether or not they're in our hospitals, but i think most importantly, we need to make sure that our prescribers are being educated. we've had round table discussions with our medical educators and there is a push around the country and i applaud that push around the country of our medical educators, whether it's in our med schools for
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physicians or for nursing programs, dental programs, but to try to start at a much earlier level in their medical education about the research and studies and best practices around opioids. certainly as, being a lawyer, we are required to co-do continuing legal education. and it is something that i know that physicians and prescribers are certainly required to get continuing medical education. i just want to continue to encourage and applaud them for seeking out that medical education around opioid, i think it's critically important and with this amendment i think it will strengthen and educate our prescribers about the need to continue to educate themselves on pain management practices and the use of opioids. with that, i urge the amendment's passage and yield back. the chair: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentlewoman from connecticut is recognized. ms. esty: thank you, mr. chairman. i'd like to thank my colleague, representative knight, for
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co-sponsoring this amendment. i'd like to thank the bipartisan leadership for taking up this issue and my good friend, the gentlelady from indiana, representative brooks, for her leadership. i would like to thank the advocates in connecticut who have worked so tirelessly with shawn f wardwell and lane among others, she was recognized for her advocacy for many, many years. i'd like to tell a brief story about the cost of not preventing this addiction. recently i was contacted by a family from -- oh. with that, i urge my colleagues to support this amendment and i yield back. the chair: the gentlewoman's time has expired. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from connecticut. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to. it is now in order to consider
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amendment number 14 printed in part a of house report 114-551. for what purpose does the gentleman from vermont seek recognition? mr. welch: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 14 printed in part a of house report 114-551 offered by mr. welch of vermont. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 720, the gentleman from vermont, mr. welch, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from vermont. mr. welch: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, on january 8, 2014, an extraordinary thing happened in vermont. our governor, giving a state of the union -- state of the state address, devoted its entirety to the opioid epidemic in vermont. i remember how stunned people were that a governor would take such a difficult topic and spend his entire address on it. i remember the reaction of many of my colleagues here who said, peter, isn't that dangerous, you're talking about something
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that's not great for the reputation of this state? what in fact was great for the reputation of the state was that our governor and our leaders acknowledged the existence of a problem that was creating heartbreak and heartache in all of our communities. and a problem acknowledged is the first step in dealing with a problem to be solved. then, vermont has been extraordinary in its efforts to attack this problem. communities like rutland and others have coordinated with police forces, with medical providers, our hospitals, to provide a treatment-based approach to helping folks who have an addiction to opioids. many of them coming by it as a result of prescriptions for legitimate medical needs. we had in rutland the community coming together to create project vision, which has faith-based groups, the police,
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the medical community doing everything it can to basically give individual attention to folks who are trying to help themselves get off of oprah:ats. the problem continues to be severe -- opiates. s to be lem continue severe but we have a community that's fully engaged in it, including our state legislature, which provided funds for treatment. a treatment-based approach to helping people with a system that's really working well. folks who are getting prescriptions or folks who have a problem and an addiction and are getting access to meth methadeno or -- other prescribed products. this has been a situation in vermont where, as a result of the governor's focus on the problem, we've had community engagement to stem the tide of this issue. it's been working. but challenges remain because
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we don't have enough treatment funds. this legislation is an important acknowledgment on the part of congress that we're getting it. that across this country we're all being affected by the challenges that our communities face. i thank the sponsors of this legislation, mr. pallone, too, and mr. upton, for their leadership. my hope, by the way, is that we get the message to -- too in congress that we've got to send some funds back to our communities that are struggling with these programs. we can't micromanage the treatment here, it's up to the courageous people in our communities to do it. some of the tax dollars they sent to us, we've got to send back to them. it's why i among others am supporting an emergency appropriation of $600 million. that would help quite a bit. the amendment that i have on this bill, which would provide -- which establishes an interagency task force to review, modify and operate the
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up-- update the best practices, would ask that we also review developing nonopioid forms of pain relief. you know, if opioids diminish pain, but they create misery, let's find another way to do it and help our folks who need pain relief to get it. the second thing, it would examine existing nonopioid alternatives that could be better utilized. so this is tremendous that there has been such a bipartisan coming together -- coming-together to sponsor commonsense steps we can take. we're essentially acknowledging what the vermont governor identified as a real problem for us and we're hear being in our communities. i hope we're ready to take some next steps and actually focus on getting resources back to our communities that are doing the very, very challenging work, at the local level, where it needs to be done, to help folks relieve themselves from
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the addiction of opioids. thank you very much, mr. speaker, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. does any member seek time for opposition? seeing none, the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from vermont. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. it is now in order to consider amendment number 15 printed in part a of house report 114-551. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. sessions: mr. chairman, i rise and i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 15 printed in part a of house report 114-551 offered by mr. sessions of texas. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 720, the gentleman from texas, mr. sessions, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: mr. chairman, thank you very much. i want to take time to
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recognize, if i can, the gentleman from new jersey, represented the energy and commerce committee, and the gentlewoman from indiana, mrs. brooks, for their service, not only to this conference, but also to the issues and the ideas that are being brought forth. the gentlewoman from indiana has served our nation as a united states attorney in indiana. she's been on the front line of battles, albeit a few years ago, but the front line of battles that the american people face, how we protect the american public from all sorts of things that get in our way as families and communities. but in this case today, she's serving as a member of congress firsthand to fight a problem with opioids. opioids are a synthetic heroin, mr. chairman. and synthetic heroin is a national problem. it's a national problem and one which this congress is
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undertaking. we're following up today on the united states senate bill and this bill that came through regular order in the house of representatives, under two primary committees, the judiciary committee and the energy and commerce committee, have addressed bills that are on debate today that will be passed, will be done in a bipartisan way, and will bring the best ideas of the house of representatives to the pleat. with that in mind, that's -- plait. with that in mind, that's -- plate. with that in mind, that's what i stand here today to do. i join in, as my colleague from vermont has done, in adding to this interagency task force with an amendment that i brought forth, that i would ask us to consider. i'll offer this amendment to ensure that the existing best practices of state and local governments, as well as the private sector, are specifically considered as the task force which was established by h.r. 4641
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conducts their business. well, mr. speaker, -- mr. chairman, the opportunity for amendment tand the process means that not only i, but also other members of this body, bring forth their ideas on the best way that we think there is to combat this problem. i believe in state and local governments, i believe in the private sector, i think they're the essence of really where the rubber meets the road on the solution of problems, not the -- to kick around ideas and find something that doesn't work, but to kick around ideas that do work. local communities, local governments and the private sector collaborate back home daily. they do this in dallas, texas, which is my home, where i represent -- and we have something that's called the dallas area drug prevention partnership. it was established in 2007 and it represents what i believe is the best collaborative effort
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between local communities and focusing on preventing drug abuse. a few years ago dallas, texas, as the epicenter of something hat was a heroin epidemic, was looking at a marketing effort by mexican drug dealers with something that was called cheese. cheese was a marketing effort, but it was heroin and it was being packaged and sold as cheese. in fact, it caused the death of some 25 people in dallas, texas. very quickly, before law enforcement recognized what the problem was, law enforcement worked with community leaders, church leaders, religious leaders, boy scout troupes, girl scout troupes, -- troops, girl scout troops, youth groups, ymca's and we got handle on whats the -- on what the problem was. but it was not solved by the
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federal government. it wasn't done just been -- just by an interagency departmental group in washington, d.c. it was solved with washington, d.c., and with people back home. who saw the problem firsthand, who took responsibility for the problem firsthand, and in this case what we're trying to say is, we're dealing with a nation-wide epidemic. the nation-wide epidemic which we have spoken very plainly about today is one that is caused through opioid use, then the translation to heroin at some point in a person's life. it's creating thousands of deaths across our country. something must be done. but the something to be done is a collaborative effort between the federal government, interagency responsibility up in washington, and other places ack home, but with state and
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local organizations and with private sector organizations who really will be not just the boots on the ground but many times with the best expertise, about the best way to do it, in the best place. mamplee, i -- mr. chairman, i bring forth this amendment and i thank you for your consideration and urge my colleagues to support this amendment and the underlying bill and i yield back my time. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from texas. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to. the question is on the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the amendment is adopted. accordingly, under the rule, the committee rises.
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the speaker pro tempore: mr. chairman. the chair: mr. speaker, the committee of the whole house on the state of the union has had under consideration h.r. 4641 and purr superintendent to house resolution 720 i report the bill back to the house with an amendment adopted in the ommittee of the whole. the speaker pro tempore: the chair of the committee of the whole house on the state of the union reports that the committee has had under consideration the bill h.r. 4641, and pursuant to house resolution 720 reports the bill back to the house with an amendment adopted in the committee of the whole. under the rule, the previous question is ordered. is a separate vote demanded on any amendment to the amendment reported from the committee of
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the whole? if not, the question is on adoption of the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. the question is on the engrossment and third reading of the bill. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. third reading. the clerk: a bill to provide for the establishment of an interagency task force to review, modify and update best practices for pain management and prescribing pain medication and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on passage of the bill. those in favor say aye. hose opposed, no. the ayes have it.
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ms. brooks: i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having risen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause of rule 20, further proceedings on this uestion will be postponed. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the chair will postpone further proceedings on which the yeas and nays are ordered or on which the vote incurs objection under clause 6 of rule 20. record votes will be taken later. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 4843.
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the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous materials on h.r. 4843. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman move to suspend the rule and pass the bill as amended? >> yes. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 4843, a bill to amend the child abuse prevention and treatment act to require certain monitoring and oversight and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. barletta, and the gentlewoman from massachusetts, ms. clarke, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. barletta: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous materials on h.r. 4843.
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the speaker pro tempore: without objection, ordered. mr. barletta: i rise in support of h.r. 4843, the infant plan of safe care improvement act and i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. barletta: every 25 minutes in america a baby is born suffering from opiate withdrawal. it's an eye-opening statistic and the more you consider what it really mean the more tragic it becomes. every 25 minutes a child enters been rld having already exposed to drugs. every 25 minutes, a newborn has to pay the price for something that he or she was defenseless against. every 25 minutes, another infant becomes a victim of the national opiate crisis. these are the victims this bill will help protect. federal policies including the child abuse, prevention and treatment act have long supported state efforts to
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identify, assess, and treat children who are victims of abuse and neglect. the law provides states with resources to improve their child protective services systems if they assure the department of health and human services that they have put in place certain child welfare policies. for example, requiring health care providers to notify child protective service agencies when a child is born with prenatal, illegal substance exposure and requiring the development of something known as a safe care plan. to keep these newborns and their care givers healthy and safe. last year, a reuters investigation examined the care that infants receive when they are born to parents struggling with opiate addiction. the investigation detailed the heartbreaking consequences those infants had to endure. consequences like suffering through the physical pain of
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withdrawal. and in the most shocking cases, terrible death. it's hard to imagine that stories like these could be any more tragic. unfortunately, they are. because they should have and in many cases could have been prevented. as reuters revealed, h.h.s. is providing federal funds to states that do not have the necessary child welfare policies in place. in short, the law is not being properly followed and enforced and some of our most vulnerable children and families are slipping through the cracks. that's why representative clark and i worked with a number of our colleagues on both sides of the aisle and introduced the legislation before us today. the bill requires h.h.s. to better ensure states are meeting their legal responsibilities when it comes to preventing and responding to child abuse and
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neglect. to a -- through a number of common sense measures, it strengths -- strengthens protections for infants born with illegal substance exposure, improves accountability related to the care of enfants and their families and it ensures states will have the best practices for developing plans to keep infants and their care givers healthy and safe. as the house works this week to fight the opiate epidemic that is destroying communities and lives across the country, these are common sense reforms that we all should embrace. by working together in advancing this legislation, we can help ensure these children, their mother, and their families have the help they need and the care they deserve. i urge my colleagues to support this bipartisan legislation, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from massachusetts
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seek recognition? ms. clark: mr. speaker, i wish to address the bill before us. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. clark: i yield myself such time as i may consume and i'm pleased to join with representative barletta to introduce this important bill to help the most vulnerable victims of the opioid epidemic. in every corner of our country, the opioid crisis is having a devastating effect. in massachusetts last year, 1,379 people succumbed to fatal overdoses. nationwide, drug overdoses are the leading cause of accidental death and we lose 129 people a day to fatal drug overdoses. this epidemic doesn't see race, gender, income, or political ideology. and it does not spare newborns and infants. we know that every 25 minutes, a
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baby is born suffering from opioid withdrawal symptoms. this is a condition known as neonatal abstinence syndrome and while there's no silver bullet to address this crisis in our country, this bill takes important steps to help. this bill, the infant plan of safe care improvement act, strengthens and updates the care plans required by the child abuse prevention and treatment t of 1974, also known as capta. and capta itself is up for re-authorize eags an this is just one portion of that mportant legislation that -- that timely re-authorization will protect children in many difficult situations. this legislation will help infants by ensuring that states have access to the best practices for establishing safe care plans for newborns with
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prenatal substance exposure. it will also improve accountability by collecting data on the incidents of babies born exposed to drugs and the care that is provided to them and their families. perhaps most importantly, it will prevent tragedy by ensuring that babies and their moms and their families have the support they need to be healthy and to build a future. we know that children have the best opportunity to thrive when their parents and kir givers are at the center of care. and i am grateful to the partnership with representative barletta and glad that we are taking this important step with this bill to ensure that the whole family is healthy and successful and supportive. -- and supported. i urge my colleagues to support this bill and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania
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is recognized. mr. barletta: i yield two minutes to the chairman of the education and work force committee, mr. clyburn. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. clyburn: i thank the his work on this issue. i rise in support of the infant safe care improvement act. his will bill help a-- mr. kline: this bill will help address painful consequences for families across the country. few are as tragic as those of infants born to parents struggling with opioid addiction. as is often the case with addiction, addiction affects those around them, including their newborn. more than 130,000 babies born in the united states in the last decade enter the world addicted
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to drugs. this report described the pain suffered by newborns going through withdrawal and told the stories of infants who actually lost their lives because of a terrible addiction. many of the stories are too disturbing to even mention but perhaps even more disturbing than the details is the fact that these deaths should have been prevented. current policies including the child abuse prevention and treatment act are meant to prevent these tragedies from ever happening. the law is simple. if a state wants to receive federal funding, the state has to provide basic assurances about their child welfare policies and the department of health and human services has a responsibility to ensure those policies are actually in place. as we now know all too well this important federal law is not being properly followed and enforced. earlier this year, i sent a letter to the department of health and human services to better understand how it works with states to ensure they're meeting current child welfare requirements.
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not surprisingly they passed the buck and said recent changes to the law absolved them from enforcement responsibilities. a disappointing response, to say the least. fortunately, thanks to the work of mr. barletta and ms. clarke, we are here to consider our response to this preventable problem, the bill before us today. i appreciate their leadership in developing a bipartisan bill that will require the department to do its job and assist states in their efforts to address this. appreciate their efforts to ensure the most innocent victims the opioid epidemic receive the help and care they need. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves. the gentlewoman is recognized. >> i yield two minutes to the gentleman, mr. scott.
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mr. scott: one of our highest national priorities should be to ensure that children have early quality opportunities to remove barriers to success in future life. children born dependent on addictive substances face severe obstacles to overcome. we know many of these obstacles can be removed. the child abuse prevention and treatment act, capta, is meant to support infants born addicted to illegal substances. unfortunately, nearly every state fails to follow the capta requirements, which works to ensure that children born of these shirks have -- circumstances have a plan of safe care to help them grow up healthy. h.r. 4843 is a strong positive first step to safeguard the well being of our nation's most vulnerable children. it will strengthen the infant's plan of safe care and help families an care givers give the guidance and support they need to provide a nurturing environment for these children. i welcome the bipartisan
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agreement to amend capta is part of the comprehensive efforts to intervene and treat those affected by substance abuse and i therefore urge my colleagues to support h.r. 4843 and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentlewoman from massachusetts is recognized. ms. clark: i thank the gentleman for his leadership on this issue and so many involving the welfare and health our children and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves, the gentleman is recognized. mr. barletta: in response to an inquiry from the education and work force committee, chairman crine and clarme rokita, h.h.s. indicated it would request additional information from states regarding their child protective services notification processes and plans of state care policies. h.h.s. has started this process and i ask unanimous consent to
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include in the record the h.h.s. children's bureau program instruction requesting this additional information. with that, i now yield two minutes to the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. thompson. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. thompson: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in support of h.r. 4843, the improving safe care for the prevention of infant abuse and neglect act. introduced by my colleague and friend mr. barletta, this bill takes steps to strengthen protections for our nation's most precious and vulnerable population. infants and children. in pennsylvania alone, nearly 8,000 infants were diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome between 2010 and 2014. that number is increasing every day. neonatal abstinence syndrome or n.a.s. is defined by the national institutes of health as a set of problems that occur on
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newborn who is exposed to addictive opiate drugs while in the mother's womb. infants experiencing n.a.s. can endure fevers, rapid breathe, seizures and even death. while states are currently required to certify to the department of health and human services they have developed a, quote, safe care plan, for infants born under these conditions, it has come to light that h.h.s. does not independently verify state plans unless there's a specific reason to do so. my co-sponsorship of this bill is a direct assertion of my belief that our nation's infants deserve more from legislators, federal agencies and the administration. this valuable legislation will help clarify the intent of safe care plans and provide states with best practices for keeping infants safe and improve accountability across the board. mr. speaker, every district in every state in the united states has been affected by what has been referred to as a substance
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abuse epidemic. while there's hope in the fact that the house is taking up more than a dozen opioid bills this week, we must not lose sight of the long road ahead of us. i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 4843 and join the fight to defend our nation's children. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania yields back they are gentleman from pennsylvania reserves, the gentlewoman from massachusetts is recognized. . the gentleman from georgia is recognized for one minute. mr. mccarthy: i thank the gentleman for yielding -- mr. carter: i thank the gentleman for yielding. i rise today in support of the bill, the improving safe care for the prevention of infant abuse and neglect act, because when newborn infanlts are tragically affected by illegal substance abuse, they deserve the best possible care and treatment. the child abuse prevention and treatment act, which was enacted in 1974, set the groundwork for federal coordination in addressing the issue of neglect and child
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abuse present in our country. h.r. 4843 builds to on that by updating and improving existing laws to ensure states are utilizing federal dollars in a safe and effective way in providing care for children who suffer illegal substance abuse, withdrawal symptoms or fetal alcohol spectrum disorder. under this bill, infanlts born with exposure to illegal substances will have strengthened protections through improved safe care plans and best practices. as a life long pharmacist and health care professional, i have seen firsthand family struggles to provide the care needed by infants who suffer these conditions. i commend congressman barletta and the education and work force committee and their lope low -- leadership on this important legislation and encourage my colleagues to support this bill so we can care for precious newborn infanlts across the country and i yield back -- infants across the country and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. >> mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the gentleman from
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michigan, mr. walberg. the eaker pro tempore: gentleman from michigan is recognized for two minutes. mr. walberg: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank mr. barletta for what you're doing here today. i rise today as a proud original co-sponsor of h.r. 4843. the infant plan of safe care improvement act, which takes important steps to protect our most vulnerable citizens from the damaging effects of addiction. as communities in michigan and around the country fight against the growing opioid epidemic, it's important for stakeholders at all levels to work together to reverse the trends of addiction and find solutions for the families swept up by this public health risis. tragically, we know every 25 minutes a baby is born in think this country having been exposed to drugs and suffering from opioid withdrawal. a federal law is already in place to help ensure these newborns have the necessary protection and care once
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they're born. but the system is still failing some of our most defenseless children and their families. recent investigations have uncovered the failure of the department of health and human services to effectively monitor the implementation of state -level plans to prevent child abuse and neglect. and some states are still receiving taxpayer dollars despite not following the laws in place to ensure the safe care of newborns. the bill we're considering today would require h.h.s. to review and confirm that states are properly following and enforcing the policies outlined in federal law. to protect infants affected by drug dependency. it also strengthens protections for infants who have been exposed to to illegal substances and ensures best practices are disseminated to states for developing plans to keep infants and their caregivers safe. mr. speaker, we must do better to provide these babies and their mothers with the help they need. i want to thank my colleagues,
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representative barletta and clark, for their leadership in crafting this bipartisan bill. and i encourage all my colleagues to vote in support. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. barletta: mr. speaker, i have no more speakers, if the gentlewoman would like to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from massachusetts is recognized. ms. clark: thank you, mr. speaker. again, many thanks to the gentleman from pennsylvania for your partnership and your leadership on this issue. i am particularly proud that this legislation takes a comprehensive look at not only protecting our newborns and infants but putting the supports in place to ensure that their mothers and fathers and grandparents and families have the services that they need and deserve to have the best outcomes for these babies and children and the family unit. so i am very pleased that this bill is before us today. i urge my colleagues to support this bill and i yield back the
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balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. barletta: mr. speaker, i yield myself the remabedser of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is -- remainder -- mr. barletta: mr. speaker, i yield myself the remainder of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. barletta: i want to reiterate the importance of this legislation. no government, federal or state, should be allowed to skirt its responsibilities on the taxpayer's dime. especially when those responsibilities involve the health and safety of children. we've seen what can happen when they it -- do. and none of us should be ok with allowing those kinds of consequences to continue. making sure they don't is a responsibility that we all share. in the end, this bill isn't about pointing fingers or placing blame. it's about the kids who need help. not only the infants affected by the oprah:at crisis, but -- oprah: -- the opiate crisis, but all children suffering from neglect. this is about making sure we
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work together to strength the protections for our country's most vulnerable children and their families. i urge my colleagues to support this legislation and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill, h.r. 4843 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended -- mr. barletta: mr. speaker. on that -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman seeks recognition. mr. barletta: mr. speaker, on that i demand the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this uestion will be postponed. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, proceedings will resume on questions previously postponed. votes will be taken in the following order.
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passage of h.r. 4641 and suspending the rules and passing h.r. 4843. the first electronic vote will be conducted as a 15-minute vote. remaining votes will be conducted as five-minute votes. the unfinished business is the vote on passage of h.r. 4641 on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 412. h.r. 4641. a bill to provide for the establishment of an interagency task force to review, modify and update best practices for pain management and prescribing pain medication and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on passage of the bill. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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