Congress Moves to Combat Opioid and Heroin Abuse Epidemic

Apr 4, 2016 Issues: Environment, Education, Foreign Affairs

Prescription drug abuse is a growing public health crisis.  Opioids -- primarily prescription pain relievers and heroin -- are the main driver of overdose deaths.  Opioids were involved in 28,647 deaths in 2014 and opioid overdoses have quadrupled since 2000.

To combat the opioid epidemic, the U.S. Senate recently voted 94 to 1 to approve the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA). CARA focuses on prevention and treatment, and calls for more than $300 million over five years in grants for health and justice programs at the state and local levels.  Rep. Levin is a cosponsor of the House version of the CARA legislation. The House is expected to consider the CARA bill later this year.

Levin Leads Effort to Fully Fund Great Lakes Restoration

Rep. Levin spearheaded a letter to the House Appropriations Committee to request $300 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) in Fiscal Year 2017. The GLRI is a seven-year-old effort to protect, restore and maintain the Great Lakes ecosystem.  The amount requested by the House lawmakers exceeds the $250 million suggested by the Obama Administration’s budget, which would amount to a 17 percent reduction from the current funding level. Click here for more information.

“We can’t undo 150 years of pollution in the Great Lakes in just 7 years,” said Rep. Levin. “That’s why Congress must continue to fully fund Great Lakes restoration.”

Rep. Levin Supports Head Start

Children in the federally-supported early learning program Head Start are better prepared to learn and have more advanced social behavior when they begin school.  Head Start also provides health, nutrition and other services to students and families, all while being responsive to ethnic, cultural, and linguistic heritage and needs.  Enrollment in this high-performing program can break the cycle of poverty that affects too many American families. 

Rep. Levin recently joined more than 130 other Members of Congress in requesting strong support for Head Start from a key House Committee. You can read the full text of that letter here.

Rep. Levin Condemns Verdict Issued Against Detained Ukraine Pilot

Rep. Levin and other concerned House lawmakers condemned the verdict and sentence issued against detained Ukraine Pilot Nadiya Savchenko.  Savchenko was captured and imprisonment in July 2014 by separatist forces in Eastern Ukraine and later accused of trumped-up charges.  After repeated delays, last week, a Russian court sentenced her to 22 years in prison.  Rep. Levin joins the people of Ukraine in expressing deep concern for her health, and in protesting the unjust outcome. You can read the full press release here.