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Republicans Request GAO to Review Grant Funding to Combat Opioid Crisis


01.24.20

Washington, D.C. – Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Greg Walden (R-OR), Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO), and Republican Members of the Energy and Commerce Committee sent a letter to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) to request a review of the billions of dollars in grant funding dedicated to combatting the opioid crisis.

“Congress has authorized billions of dollars to address this crisis, but even we cannot adequately track where and how the funds were used in many cases,” the members wrote in the letter.

The Energy and Commerce Committee has been at the forefront of the Congressional response to the opioid crisis, advancing critical legislation, such as the 21st Century Cures Act and the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities (SUPPORT) Act, to provide new resources and tools so that communities may be better equipped to address in the epidemic.

“In the interest of ensuring that the funds are directed towards their intended purpose, providing a mechanism where Congress can “see” the development of grants and help direct their constituents to them, and stewarding taxpayer resources in an effective manner, we believe several recent opioid-related legislative packages should be carefully examined to track their destination, assess their impact, and inform our decisions about future efforts,” the members continued in the letter.

Walden, Hartzler, and Republican Members of E&C requested GAO to review the following:

  • The information available regarding the status of grant funding, including how much grant funding has been appropriated for different purposes or activities; how much has been obligated; how much has been disbursed and the outlay rates; and how much funding remains unobligated and/or unspent. For appropriated funding that has not been obligated and/or spent, include available information on the reasons. Identify any appropriated funds that the agency does not have plans to obligate in the current or future fiscal years.
  • Agency processes to assess the results of grant funding.
  • Agency processes for communicating detailed information on the disbursement of grant funding to Congress and the public in a timely manner.
  • Agency processes for communicating with and soliciting proposals from potential grant recipients.

To read the letter, click HERE.

Press Release