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NLN Capitol Connection | December 2016

Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act
December 6, 2016

Surgeon General Releases Report on Addiction
A recent federal report calls for a shift in the way America addresses substance addictions, finding one in seven Americans will face such disorders. Only 10 percent of those addicted receive treatment, the study said. "Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs and Health" marks the first report from a U.S. surgeon general dedicated to substance addiction, raising the profile of the widespread epidemic and advocating proven treatment options.

House Passes 21st Century Cures Act
The House recently passed a medical innovation bill aimed at curing diseases, with the measure securing bipartisan support after months of negotiations. The legislation, known as the 21st Century Cures Act, passed 392-26. It seeks to speed up the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of new drugs while investing new money in medical research. The package also includes a range of other health care priorities, including $1 billion over two years to fight the epidemic of opioid addiction and $1.8 billion for Vice President Biden’s cancer “moonshot.”

The cures legislation also includes a mental health portion that seeks to reorganize and improve accountability for government mental health programs. Thank you to everyone who participated in the advocacy campaign to get mental health reform passed before the 114th Congress adjourns.

The Senate is expected to pass the 21st Century Cures Act in the next few days.

2016 Election Wrap Up
Republicans have won total control of the White House and Congress for the first time in a decade. In the 115th Congress there will be 51 Republicans, 46 Democrats, and 2 Independents (who caucus with the Democrats) in the Senate. The Louisiana Senate race is undecided as of press time. In the House there will be 241 Republicans and 194 Democrats. Below are charts comparing the party control of the 114th Congress versus the 115th Congress.

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The next edition of the Capitol Connection will be published on January 3, 2017.

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