Friday, April 27, 2018

News From Congressman Eliot Engel

Engel Marks 2018 GLSEN Day of Silence to Raise Awareness of LGBTQ Bullying

  Congressman Eliot Engel, a member of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, marked GLSEN’s Day of Silence by introducing a resolution supporting the student-led movement to end LGBTQ bullying and harassment.

Hundreds of thousands of students across this country and throughout the world will take a vow of silence today to bring attention to the bullying and harassment of their LGBTQ peers. LGBTQ youth experience bullying, harassment, and assault at school at an alarming rate. Eight in ten LGBTQ students are harassed because of their sexual orientation or gender expression. One in eight are physically assaulted because of their sexual orientation or gender expression. More than half of LGBTQ students feel unsafe in their own classrooms, and nearly one third will miss a day of school this month because of threats, harassment, or violence.

“I have introduced a resolution supporting the Day of Silence every year for the past 16 years, and I’m proud to once again support this student-led movement,” Engel said. “This year we have seen inspiring, student-led movements push our country forward on issues from gun violence prevention to immigrant rights. The Day of Silence sends an important message that we will continue to fight back against discrimination and ensure that schools are safe and affirming for all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.”

“Each year, hundreds of thousands of students in middle and high schools across the country take action to end the silencing effects of anti-LGBTQ harassment and discrimination. Their protest provides an opportunity to reflect on how each of us can take action to address these issues that too often silence LGBTQ youth in K-12 schools. This year’s Day of Silence has added importance. Over the past year, we’ve witnessed the Education Department take unprecedented steps to reverse hard-fought progress on LGBTQ equality won over the two decades since the Day of Silence was founded,” said Eliza Byard, GLSEN Executive Director. “We are incredibly thankful to Congressman Engel for his long-standing support of GLSEN’s Day of Silence, which enables LGBTQ youth to see elected officials who support them and who advocate for safe and inclusive schools for all.”

Engel on Passage of Opioid Bills, Marathon Health Markup

  This week, the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee passed two bills co-authored by Congressman Eliot L. Engel that will help address the nation’s ongoing opioid epidemic. Both bills passed unanimously during a marathon markup session, at which more than 60 bills were up for consideration.

Congressman Engel partnered with Congresswoman Susan Brooks to author the Poison Center Network Enhancement Actwhich will reauthorize the U.S. poison center program for an additional five years. Since 2011, U.S. poison centers have handled almost 200 cases daily involving opioid misuse.

The Reinforcing Evidence-based Standards Under Law in Treating Substance abuse (RESULTS) Act, which Congressman Engel introduced with Congressman Steve Stivers, will provide new guidance to applicants seeking federal grants to treat or prevent mental health or substance use disorders, better enabling them to carry out evidence-based activities.

“Families in the Bronx, Westchester and across the U.S. are suffering, and Congress must deliver solutions,” Engel said. “I am pleased to see these bills moving forward, as they will play an important role in our response to this crisis.”

During debate, Engel cautioned Republicans about the need to carefully consider policies that will have real implications for American families, rather than rush legislation that hasn’t been examined thoroughly.

“Americans need action – not the appearance of action,” Engel said. “Republicans’ insistence on considering so many bills at one time, some of which have been proposed only recently, is concerning to me. Our constituents expect us to thoroughly weigh the pros and cons of every policy we consider. If we fail to do that, we risk worsening the very crisis we are trying to solve.

“I am also disappointed by Republicans’ decision to block an amendment that would require the Department of Health and Human Services to examine the rising price of the overdose reversal drug naloxone. In 2016, the rate of opioid-related deaths in Westchester fell nearly 30 percent. Evidence suggests this was thanks in part to naloxone. Having HHS examine the rising prices that could pose a barrier to accessing this lifesaving drug makes good sense.”

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