Washington, D.C. –Today, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21) voted in support of H.R.5891 – the Improving the Federal Response to Families Impacted by Substance Use Disorder Act. This legislation passed the House today as part of a series of dozens of measures the House is working on to combat the devastating heroin and opioid epidemic.

“Since arriving in Congress, I have worked closely with my colleagues on many measures to improve the federal response to the heroin and opioid epidemic,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “In addition to supporting over $4 billion in funding to combat this problem, I have supported the 21st Century Cures Act and the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act. This bipartisan bill that I cosponsored will create a task force that helps our federal agencies better coordinate our efforts to fight this problem. I thank my colleagues for their work to advance these important healthcare bills.”

H.R. 5891 establishes an interagency task force to develop a strategy on how federal agencies can implement a coordinated approach to responding to the opioid epidemic, with a particular focus on the existing programs that support infants, children, and their families. The task force will be led by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and will include the Departments of Education, Agriculture, and Labor. Additionally, the task force will solicit input from local entities and individuals on the frontlines in order to inform the aforementioned strategy.

The task force will also recommend opportunities for local- and state-level partnerships, professional development, and best practices, and consider evidence-based initiatives related to prevention, whole-family and multi-generational approaches, and community-based projects. A detailed action plan will be provided to Congress on how the agencies plan to implement their strategy and will include an identification of any recommendations that require legislative authority to implement.

Read more about the bills the House is passing related to opioids here.