We are at the halfway mark for the 115th Congress. Lawmakers began the new legislative session with high hopes following the passage of the tax reform package at the end of 2017. With that piece of legislation now on the books, congressional delegations members now turn their attention to other burning issues affecting their districts, including support for the military and veterans, efforts to fight the opiate epidemic and steps to increase workforce development.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 140 people in the United States die every day after overdosing on opioids. More than 40 percent of all opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription drug. While the Department of Health and Human Services has developed a five-point comprehensive strategy to prevent opioid overdose deaths which includes better pain treatment and more research, lawmakers say more needs to be done both on the Hill and at home.
The country's support for the military, veterans and their families remain a priority for lawmakers on the Hill. Several applauded the recent spending bill that dramatically increased defense spending. However, some say more needs to be done to help our veterans.
Lawmakers returned to the Hill at the beginning of 2018 still celebrating the passage of the tax reform bill. Some said they've already seen the impact it's made in their districts, including the creation of more jobs. Now, the focus needs to be on workforce development to provide people with the necessary skills to fill those opportunities.