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The Villages
Sunday, April 14, 2024

It’s National Police Week

Rich Nugent
Rich Nugent

Well, this marks another week that we actually got something done in Washington (trying not to let arms tire from patting selves on back). In yet another moment of bipartisan and bicameral support, the Senate and the House came together to pass meaningful legislation aimed at addressing the ever-growing opioid epidemic. Even the President is on board with our plan.
Sadly, it’s a testament to the scale and severity of the problem that so many of us were able to get on the same page about changes we could make to help (the House passed the Opioid package by a vote of 400-5).  Opioid abuse is truly crippling communities and destroying families across this Nation. Chances are you may know someone struggling with this fight. As a cop, I saw opioid abuse on a near daily basis – it’s a highly addictive substance that sometimes stems from very innocent beginnings – a prescription. And it’s not just criminals or youths that succumb to the damaging power of opioids, many of our senior citizens and veterans are also affected as well.
From helping babies born with a dependency and approving grants for overdose reversal drug programs to assisting police in curbing illegal trafficking and requiring the VA to improve its painkiller disbursement procedures – we passed 18 different bills this week that will absolutely make a difference in the opioid fight. This is another example of good legislation that returns oversight and control to state and local agencies as they know what’s best for their own communities.
As it happens, it’s also National Police Week this week. As you might expect, this is always a very moving time for me in Washington. Every year, thousands of police officers, troopers and deputies from all over the country travel to the nation’s capital to memorialize the officers who have fallen in the line of duty during the previous year. Given my many years in law enforcement, I have known far too many friends and colleagues who were struck down out in the field. A few of us went to the House floor and spoke for a bit to bring some awareness about what it’s like to wear that uniform or to have a family member wear the uniform.  
Finally, we also passed a piece of legislation this week that will enable members of the House and Senate to have a flag flown over the Capitol building to be given to the families of fallen first responders. It’s a small gesture, but I think it’s an important gesture. They asked me at the last minute to usher the bill through on the floor and it was a genuine honor to do so.
In any case, that’s the news of the week from Congress.  If you ever need anything or have any questions, please let me know. Thanks again.

Congressman Rich Nugent represents The Villages in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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