Washington-Congressman Denver Riggleman held a press conference Wednesday morning with three other Members of the Freshman Working Group on Addiction. Rep. Riggleman, along with Rep. David Trone (D-MD), Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) , and Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) introduced a bill to authorize $5 billion in funding for State Opioid Response (SOR) Grants and Tribal Opioid Response (TOR) Grants over five years. This is an important step to combat the opioid crisis that has taken hold across the county.
"The opioid crisis, and the addiction crisis are very real in my district and for families across the country," Congressman Riggleman said. " We can no longer stand by and watch as this crisis ravages our towns and cities-it's time to get to work."
Congressman David Trone from Maryland, who is the lead sponsor of the bill said: “This crisis affects each and every community across America, and we have to ensure that each state has the resources necessary to combat this tragedy. In my first 100 days in office I spoke with health departments, hospitals, first responders, elected officials, police officers, incarcerated individuals, mental health professionals, early childhood organizations, and those suffering from addiction. I heard loud and clear that we need additional and consistent funding to end this crisis. This legislation does just that. I thank Representatives Armstrong, Sherrill, and Riggleman for joining me in this bipartisan effort.”
A full transcript of Congressman Riggleman's speech can be found below and you can watch the full press conference here.
Thanks for having me, I'm Denver Riggleman from the 5th District of Virginia. I am so happy to be here this morning with my friends Rep. David Trone, Rep. Kelly Armstrong, and Rep Mikie Sherrill.
As you have heard form my colleagues, we are here to announce a bill to authorize $5 billion in funding over five years for State Opioid Response (SOR) Grants and Tribal Opioid Response (TOR) Grants.
This is the first of many steps we are taking to combat the opioid crisis that has taken hold in this county. And even in my district and in districts we have talked about here today.
The four of us standing here- and over 50 other freshman members are part of the Freshman Working Group on Addiction.
it is important to note that this is not one of the many Hill caucuses or social clubs, but an actual working group designed to get things done.
When we started this working group, we pledged to generate new ideas and make progress for the communities in every state that are struggling with too many challenges and not enough resources.
This bill starts to address some of those challenges, and is the first of many the Working Group will produce.
The opioid crisis and the addiction crisis are very real in my district and for families across the country. You heard from Congressman Trone about Ian. I am the oldest of eight children. Seven brothers and sisters. W have that same issue in my personal family and also with aunts and uncles. And when you have a district like mine, that is suburban but mostly rural, and when you're from Appalachia you see the effects first hand.
My district in Virginia has been terribly affected by the opioid crisis and I know that we can't wait to take action. That is why this bill and ones to follow are so important. We can no longer stand by and watch as this risis ravages our towns and cities-its time to get to work.