Washington, DC – Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 34, the 21st Century Cures Act, which dedicates more than $6 billion for new investments for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), grants to combat opioid abuse, and improvements to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  Congressman Jim Himes (CT-04) released the following statement on the passage of the bill:

“Yesterday, I voted in favor of the 21st Century Cures Act. This bipartisan, forward-thinking legislation provides many essential investments in our nation’s research including:

·         $1 billion in grants to assist states in battling our country’s ongoing opioid epidemic

·         $4.8 billion over the next ten years for the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

·         $500 million for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) over the next five years

·         $1.8 billion for Vice President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot initiative.

·         Authorizes the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act – which provides mental health block grants for states, crisis intervention training for police, and workforce development funding for prospective psychologists and strengthens the enforcement of the mental health parity law, which requires insurers to cover mental illnesses just as they cover treatment for diseases like cancer or multiple sclerosis.

This bill marks the most significant improvement in drug development and approvals in recent memory. The funds provided to combat the opioid epidemic will help families and communities in Connecticut who are being torn apart and are in desperate need of assistance.  Mental health reform has also been one of my and Connecticut’s top priorities since the Sandy Hook tragedy, and I am thrilled that we, along with my colleague Chris Murphy in the Senate, are taking the appropriate steps to deal with deficiencies in the way it’s addressed.

I was proud to vote for this bill that will make a substantial impact on the day-to-day lives of Connecticut residents and will continue to look for opportunities in the coming year to support legislation and policies that help the American people.”