This morning during a press conference with Republican leaders, Speaker Ryan discussed why addressing the opioid epidemic is so important to the House, and previewed what that process will look like in cooperation with the Senate. Below are Speaker Ryan’s opening remarks at today’s press briefing:

“Nick, thanks for being here today. That was very, very insightful and helpful. And I also want to thank Barbara Comstock for bringing Nick today.

“They are absolutely right. You heard it from Nick. This epidemic does not discriminate. It is not about politics. It is personal. This can happen to anyone. And it can tear apart any family. And this can tear apart every community.

“In Wisconsin, where I come from—according to the latest statistics, just like Barbara said—more people die from drug overdoses than they died from traffic accidents in our own home state. Many states, including ours, have stepped up to take on this problem. 

“Now we need to take action at the national level. That is why the House will soon move legislation to combat this deadly abuse. 

“I’ll let Leader McCarthy get into the details about how we’re going to do this. The more important point here is there is common ground here. The issue of opioid abuse is an issue we will be tackling.

“The Senate has passed a very good bipartisan bill. The president has put forward some of his own good ideas. So we can get this done, and we can win this battle. 

“And that is why we here in the House are bringing our ideas to the table, too. Going through the committee process to meet with the Senate so we can make sure that we actually advance a solution to this problem. That is why it is important to follow the lead of people like Nick. His message is one of redemption.

“This is a very important message for all of us, personally and nationally. By coming together, we can help save lives and get more people on the road to recovery.”


NOTE: Speaker Ryan’s comments come just days after Rep. Bold Dold of Illinois addressed the nationwide crisis in the Weekly Republican Address, which can be viewed here.