E&C Republicans: SAMHSA Needs To Be Fully Forthcoming About How It Spends Taxpayer Dollars

Agency Received Nearly $9 Billion in COVID Supplemental and 9-8-8 Hotline Funds 

Washington D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Health Subcommittee Chair Brett Guthrie (R-KY), and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chair Morgan Griffith (R-VA), on behalf of the Health and Oversight Subcommittee Republicans, sent a letter to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) requesting a full accounting of how the agency spent more than $8 billion that it was allocated in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The letter is a continuation of the Committee’s investigation into the COVID supplemental funds received by SAMHSA and awarded to states. Previous responses from SAMHSA did not detail how much of these funds have been spent and how these expenditures were used.


“Unfortunately, even after prompting by the Committee staff, SAMHSA is not providing the full accounting for billions of dollars in expenditures as requested. SAMHSA needs to be fully forthcoming with information about nearly $8 billion in COVID supplemental funds received by SAMHSA and awarded to states.

“In addition, SAMHSA reported more than $900 million has been “invested” in the 9-8-8 crisis care system since FY 2022. This is a massive amount of money, and SAMHSA has not produced specific data showing how these funds are being used, or even if they are being used.

“SAMHSA’s description of the December 2022 cybersecurity incident impacting the 9-8-8 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is also troubling. SAMHSA reported that it is still awaiting the final report from its third-party security assessor.”

“Further, SAMHSA suggested that the Committee direct detailed questions to the FBI, given the ongoing nature of the investigation. Given that this incident is being investigated by law enforcement, this indicates a much more significant and concerning event.”

CLICK HERE to read the full letter.

CLICK HERE to read the Committee’s April 2023 letter to SAMHSA.