U.S. Representatives Renee Ellmers (R-NC-2), Steve Womack (R-AR-3), Doris Matsui (D-CA-6), and Bill Owens (D-NY-21), along with 44 of their House colleagues, today sent U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Burwell a bipartisan letter requesting that the she instruct the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to use its existing authority to update outdated regulations to comprehensively address the disease of addiction, allowing patients to access the right treatment at the right time based on their individual circumstances.
A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), which shows an increase in the rate of drug poisoning deaths involving opioid analgesics between 1999 and 2011, highlights the need to update current regulations. Because there were only two medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of opioid dependence at the time the regulations were written, the medication a patient is prescribed depends almost entirely upon where they seek treatment. The letter asks for an evaluation of strategies to address the opioid crisis in our country and says, in part:
“If we are to attempt to reverse incidence of opioid dependence and the increasing numbers of opioid overdoses and opioid-related deaths associated with opioid addiction, it is important that patients have access to all FDA approved treatment options.... We have a higher number of effective treatment interventions available today than ever before, and the trend leading to so many tragic consequences can, and must, be reversed. HHS, working with SAMHSA, must modernize its regulations to ensure access to all FDA-approved opioid treatment medications, based on the clinical needs of the patient, and train practitioners to treat this devastating disease in a manner consistent with the treatment of other serious life-threatening illnesses or chronic conditions.”
The letter goes on to request a timely response from Secretary Burwell and a briefing to discuss a pathway forward on this important issue.
The full text of the letter can be found here, and the list of co-signers is below.
|Renee Ellmers (NC-2)
Ralph Hall (TX-4)
Ed Whitfield (KY-1)
Lee Terry (NE-2)
Mario Diaz-Balart (Fl-25)
Tim Ryan (OH-13)
Brett Guthrie (KY-2)
Tom Rooney (FL-17)
Lou Barletta (PA-11)
Andy Harris (MD-1)
Steve Stivers (OH-15)
Dave Joyce (OH-14)
|Steve Womack (AR-3)
Jack Kingston (GA-1)
Robert Aderholt (AL-4)
Ander Crenshaw (FL-4)
Jim Gerlach (PA-6)
Gus Bilirakis (FL-12)
Leonard Lance (NJ-7)
Aaron Schock (IL-18)
Rick Crawford (AR-1)
Bill Johnson (OH-6)
Kevin Yoder (KS-3)
Doug LaMalfa (CA-1)
|Doris Matsui (CA-6)
Sam Farr (CA-20)
John Shimkus (IL-15)
John Carter (TX-31)
Phil Gingrey (GA-11)
Robert E. Latta (OH-5)
Pete Olson (TX-22)
Paul Tonko (NY-20)
Bill Flores (TX-17)
Billy Long (MO-7)
Mark Amodei (NV-2)
Chris Stewart (UT-2)
|Bill Owens (NY-21)
Tom Latham (IA-3)
Mike Simpson (ID-2)
Tom Cole (OK-4)
Tim Murphy (PA-18)
Bill Cassidy (LA-6)
Chellie Pingree (ME-1)
Bill Foster (IL-11)
Tim Griffin (AR-2)
Alan Nunnelee (MS-1)
Tom Cotton (AR-4)
David Valadao (CA-21)
Yesterday, members of the Arkansas House delegation introduced H.R. 5542, the Farm Protection Act of 2014. The legislation was introduced to help protect ag-producers who may become creditors in a bankruptcy. Earlier this summer, a grain merchandiser, known as Turner Grain, located in Arkansas’s First District ended its operations and has since entered into bankruptcy litigation causing problems for producers.
“The Arkansas House delegation is moving forward to assist ag-producers who stand to be impacted the most as a result of poor management by those who worked at Turner Grain. We believe this bill would ensure that ag-producers aren’t burdened with unreasonable expectations of meeting their loan requirements or the accrual of interest on their loans while they work through bankruptcy proceedings as creditors. We are hopeful that this bill will be considered later this fall, as the extension granted by Secretary Vilsack comes to an end, but bankruptcy proceedings will likely be just beginning.”
Earlier this summer, the House delegation wrote U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Vilsack requesting a 180-day grace period on loan repayment for ag-producers who have contracts with Turner Grain while the complicated issues around Turner Grain were being handled. While the full grace period that was requested was not granted, Secretary Vilsack did agree to an extra 60-day grace period for the producers who were affected in addition to the 30-day period that had already been granted.
The bill would prohibit the USDA from trying to collect any loan from producers who have become involved in a bankruptcy as a creditor until at least 180-days after the final disposition of the bankruptcy case. The bill also would also allow for a similar extension of 180-days following the final disposition for loans made under the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act. Lastly, the bill will help protect farmers whose loan repayments have been pulled back into a bankruptcy case.
Congressman Steve Womack (AR-3) today released the following statement in response to the passage of H.R. 4, the Jobs for America Act:
“Third District Arkansans want policies that allow them to hold the keys to their success instead of promoting the status quo, that grow the economy and not the federal government, that enable them to create jobs rather than make doing so a disincentive, and that empower them to achieve their goals and the American dream without holding them back with red tape. Simply put, they want more opportunity and a stronger America. That’s what we’ve been working to create in the House and the America H.R. 4 can unleash. I applaud its passage in the House.”
Congressman Steve Womack (AR-3) today released the following statement in response to the passage of H.R. 2, the American Energy Solutions for Lower Costs and More American Jobs Act:
“Capitalizing on America’s energy renaissance is essential to the security of our nation and will allow us to control our economic destiny. But the usual politics, red tape, and quick fixes that never pan out are standing in our way. By taking an all-of-the-above approach to our energy policy and eliminating these barriers, H.R. 2 can make this possibility into reality, and I applaud its passage and urge the Senate to act on it quickly.”
Congressman Steve Womack (AR-3) today released the following statement in response to the passage of H.J.Res. 124, the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2015, which provides funding for government operations through December 11, 2014:
“Passage of this continuing resolution provides for the uninterrupted function of government at a level below the established budgetary caps and allows for our nation to move smartly beyond November, ensuring that decisions will be made in the best interest of our nation rather than the best interest of an election outcome. The future of our nation hangs in the balance and is too important to politicize.”
Congressman Steve Womack represents Arkansas’s Third Congressional District and serves on the House Appropriations Committee, where he is a member of the Defense, Financial Services and General Government, and Labor-Health and Human Services subcommittees.
On Wednesday, September 17, 2014, Congressman Steve Womack (AR-3) spoke from the House Floor on the McKeon amendment to H.J.Res. 124, the Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2015. The McKeon amendment would authorize the Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Secretary of State, to carry out President Obama’s plan of training and equipping Syrian opposition forces to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
“I have grave concerns about the President’s current plan to train and equip Syrian opposition forces in the fight against ISIL… President Obama has proposed we outsource this problem to other people, and as a military officer, I am concerned that he actually believes this limited use of military power can achieve the ultimate objective of destroying ISIL – a force that is 30,000 strong and growing by the day… However, we cannot afford to stand idly by for another day, and a step in the right direction is better than no step at all. So I join my colleagues in support of this amendment, but I believe in short order we will be asked to do more.”
The full video can be found here.
Congressman Steve Womack is currently seeking highly motivated college students to serve as interns in his district offices in Rogers, Fort Smith, and Harrison.
A congressional internship is a rewarding experience, and district office interns will work closely with Congressman Womack’s staff and constituents while learning the inner workings of the United States Congress and about issues affecting Arkansans. Those interested in political science, government, public policy, business, and social work are encouraged to apply.
Internship requirements and application materials are available at: http://womack.house.gov/constituentservices/internships.htm
College students who are interested in interning in the Rogers, Harrison, Fort Smith, or Harrison offices should submit a completed application to:
Congressman Steve Womack
c/o Pam Forester
3333 Pinnacle Hills Parkway, Suite 120
Rogers, AR 72758
Or via fax to: (479) 464-0063
For more information, please call (479) 464-0446 or email email@example.com.
U.S. Senators Mark Pryor and John Boozman today joined Congressman Steve Womack (AR-3) to announce that eight Arkansas airports will receive over $4.1 million from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to support facility upgrades and expansions.
“Arkansas airports play a central role in advancing our state’s economic capabilities,” Pryor said. “By making these infrastructure investments, we are ensuring that our local airports can continue to meet the growing needs of Arkansas’s businesses and travelers.”
“These grants will provide Arkansas’s airports with safety and efficiency improvements to meet the demands placed on our infrastructure,” Boozman said. “These airport investments are important for long term growth and development in Arkansas as we continue to recruit businesses to our state.”
“Investing in our transportation infrastructure is essential, and these grants will allow our airports to update and expand, ensuring they are able to support Arkansas’s economy and population as they continue to grow,” said Womack.
This funding is supported by the FY14 omnibus appropriations bill, which was signed into law in January. The airports receiving funding are as follows:
Congressman Steve Womack (AR-3) released the following statement in remembrance of the Americans who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and September 11, 2012:
Congressman Steve Womack represents Arkansas’s Third Congressional District and serves on the House Appropriations Committee, where he is a member of the Defense, Financial Services and General Government, and Labor-Health and Human Services subcommittees.Prior to his election to Congress, Colonel Womack commanded the 2nd Battalion, 153rd Infantry, 39th Separate Infantry Brigade of the Army National Guard when it was mobilized for duty with the Multi-National Force and Observers (MFO), Sinai, Egypt, following the tragic events of September 11, 2001.
Congressman Steve Womack (AR-3) today released the following statement after the passage of H.R. 3522, the Employee Health Care Protection Act of 2014, which allows health insurers to continue offering plans that were available in the group market in 2013 until 2019 without subjecting employers and their employees to penalties under Obamacare’s individual mandate:
"Even though the President promised Americans they could keep their health plan if they liked it under Obamacare – ‘period’ – millions across the country have had theirs canceled. Now, even more are at risk of losing their current, employer-sponsored coverage and, thanks to the so-called Affordable Care Act, will be forced to pay more for insurance. Unfortunately, until Obamacare is repealed, there will always be another mess to clean up, and I applaud the passage of H.R. 3522, which fixes one of the law’s most onerous parts by allowing small businesses and their workers to keep their current plans and giving others access to more affordable coverage.”
1119 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Congressman Stephen A. Womack, 57, is a native of Russellville, Arkansas. After attending K-10 in Moberly, Missouri, Womack’s family returned to Arkansas in 1973, and he graduated from Russellville High School in 1975. Womack earned a Bachelor’s degree from Arkansas Tech University in 1979 and, after graduation, was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the Arkansas Army National Guard.
In the fall of 1979, Steve relocated to Rogers where he and his father established KURM Radio, and he served as station manager from 1979-1990. In August of 1990, Steve accepted an assignment with the University of Arkansas Army ROTC program and served as Executive Officer of the program for six years. In 1996, Steve was hired as a financial consultant with Merrill Lynch.
On November 3, 1998, Steve was elected Mayor of Rogers and served in that capacity for twelve years. During his tenure, the City of Rogers experienced exponential economic growth, adding $1 billion in new development with major improvements to the city’s infrastructure, retail services, and quality of life amenities.
Steve also served on numerous boards and commissions in Northwest Arkansas serving as Chairman of the Northwest Regional Planning Commission, Chairman of Rogers United Way, board member of the Rogers-Lowell Chamber of Commerce, and the Rogers Parks Commission. A former Rotarian, Steve is also a Paul Harris Fellow.
In the Army National Guard, Steve served in a variety of command and staff assignments, including command of 2nd Battalion, 153rd Infantry, 39th Separate Infantry Brigade. Following the tragic events of 9-11, Steve’s battalion was mobilized for duty with the Multi-National Force and Observers (MFO), Sinai, Egypt in 2002. It marked the first time in the history of the 39th Brigade that a battalion was deployed overseas. It was also the first time in the MFO history the US Battalion mission was conducted by a pure National Guard unit. Steve’s task force received praise from the highest levels of civil and military leadership around the world and is credited with convincing Army leadership of the capabilities and readiness of the Army Guard.
Steve retired with over thirty years of service from the Arkansas Army National Guard October 31, 2009, at the rank of Colonel. His decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, the Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, and the Global War on Terror Expeditionary and Service Medals, and the Arkansas Distinguished Service Medals. Steve was inducted into the Arkansas Officer Candidate School Hall of Fame in 2011.
In the House, Steve serves on the Appropriations Committee and the Defense, Financial Services, and Labor-Health and Human Services subcommittees. Steve is also on the Whip Team, House Energy Action Team (HEAT), and various caucuses.
Steve has been married to his wife, Terri, for 29 years, and they have three grown sons and two grandsons, Liam and Kaden.
Retweeted by rep_stevewomack
Retweeted by rep_stevewomack