Diaz-Balart Votes for Comprehensive Legislation as Congress Continues to Address Opioids Crisis
WASHINGTON – Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) issued the following statement after the House approved comprehensive legislation that continues to address the opioids crisis. The House has passed over 50 opioid-related bills in the 115th Congress.
“Recognizing the devastating impact that opioid abuse has had on our nation and our state, earlier this year I met with local law enforcement officers and other first responders to discuss the effects on our district. In 2016, an estimated 4,728 Floridians succumbed due to drug overdose, and across our country, currently an average of 115 people a day are dying due to opioid-related causes. Federal assistance and funding is necessary to combat this deadly epidemic. That is why earlier this week, I was proud to support a spending bill for Fiscal Year 2019 that will provide over $6.6 billion through different agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services to fight this addiction nationwide.
While funding is critical, we also know that it is not enough. That is why this summer the House passed over 50 opioid-related bills aimed at protecting our communities, providing treatment and recovery assistance, fighting the importation of fentanyl, and preventing addiction by encouraging alternatives to pain management. This bill is a culmination of this effort and contains many policies previously agreed upon on the House floor. Families are being torn apart by this tragic public health crisis, and with the passage of this package, Congress is stepping up to curb the influx of illegal drugs entering our borders, help medical professionals properly treat opioid patients, and give local law enforcement better resources as they face this growing epidemic. I thank Speaker Ryan and Chairman Walden for their ongoing leadership on this issue, and I will continue to work with them to do our part in keeping these drugs out of our communities.”