Congressman Tim Ryan Statement on President Trump's Public Health Emergency Declaration

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan released this statement following President Trump’s declaration of a Public Health Emergency in response to the opioid addiction epidemic.

“While I support the President in finally taking this action—something I urged him to do in six months ago—if we are going to make a real impact on the opioid epidemic President Trump and Congressional Republicans need to put their money where their mouth is. Unfortunately, the Public Health Emergency Fund, which today’s announcement makes available, only has $57,000 in its coffers. I have urged, and will continue to urge, President Trump and Congress to provide the billions of dollars in additional funding needed to our local officials, emergency rooms, treatment facilities, child care services, law enforcement, and morgues. Without the funding to implement it, a Public Health Emergency alone will not be enough to end this crisis. I call on the Administration and Republicans in Congress to bring up an emergency spending bill immediately so that these communities have the money they need to actually save lives and make a difference.”

Congressman Tim Ryan is the Co-Chair of the Bipartisan Congressional Addiction, Treatment, and Recovery Caucus, and a member of the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force.

Other Opioid Addiciton Actions by Congressman Ryan:

  • Rep. Ryan sent President Trump a letter on April 19, 2017 asking President Trump to do this exact action – declare a Public Health Emergency.
  • Rep. Ryan sent President Trump a letter with other Members of Congress on September 19, 2017 to call a National Emergency and lower prices for Naloxone.
  • Rep. Ryan sent President Trump a letter with other Members of Congress on August 7, 2017 calling out the lack of funding in the Public Health Emergency Fund and requesting the Administration to call on Congress to ask for emergency appropriations and to cease their efforts to repeal the ACA.
  • In the 114th Congress, Rep. Ryan joined Senator Portman, Senator Whitehouse, and Congressman Sensenbrenner in introducing the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act(CARA), which leverages evidence-based law enforcement and health care services, including treatment that can be used to stop and reverse current trends. On July 22, 2016 CARA was signed into law.
  • Rep. Ryan led a letter urging President Trump to include $9.3 billion in his Fiscal  Year 2018 budget for 34 Administration programs at Department of Health and Human Services, Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Department of Justice.
  • Rep. Ryan introduced the Stop Trafficking in Fentanyl Act – increase penalties for fentanyl trafficking
  • Rep. Ryan and Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH) in introducing the STOP OD Act – which is designed to help stop synthetic drugs like fentanyl and carentanil from being shipped through our borders to drug traffickers in the United States
  • Rep. Ryan introduced the Prescription Drug Monitoring Act – which takes important steps to bring states closer to fully interoperable Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs), to faster respond to inquiries and to better serve the public.
  • Rep. Ryan and Rep. Marcia Fudge introduced the Breaking Addiction Act, which takes steps to increase access to treatment by making changes to the IMD exclusion for substance abuse facilities. Under current law, the Institutions for Mental Diseases (IMD) exclusion prohibits Medicaid matching payments for services provided in treatment facilities that have more than 16 beds.  The Breaking Addiction Act removes this outdated policy, allowing states to better utilize Medicaid to serve more people.