Senator Murray Commends Bipartisan Legislation for Families and Communities at HELP Executive Session

In markup, HELP Committee moved forward four bipartisan bills to support the health and wellbeing of families and communities


(Washington, D.C.) – Today, at a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee Executive Session, Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) delivered remarks commending the progress on several bipartisan bills before the Committee to support the health and wellbeing of families and communities. Legislation at the markup included the Animal Drug User Fee Amendments (ADUFA), Childhood Cancer STAR Act, the State Offices of Rural Health Reauthorization Act of 2018, and the Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act.


Senator Murray’s Executive Session Opening Remarks:


“Thank you Mr. Chairman.


“I look forward to making progress on several bipartisan bills today on improving health care in rural communities, supporting intergenerational caregiving, fighting childhood cancer, and maintaining the health of our animal population.


“All of these bills show what is possible when we take a bipartisan approach and look for common ground, and common sense solutions.”


“Thank you.”


Senator Murray’s Remarks on the Animal Drug User Fee Amendments (ADUFA):


“Last year, Chairman Alexander and I were able to work together and put families first as we passed the FDA Reauthorization Act and reauthorized user fees for prescription drugs, medical devices, generic drugs, and biosimilars.”


“I’m glad to say that bipartisan spirit has carried through to our work reauthorizing the Animal Drug User Fee Amendments, or ADUFA  The bill we have before us today reauthorizes these important resources for the FDA to ensure our nation’s animal population is healthy, and it encourages better collaboration in the drug development process through earlier communication between regulators and sponsors to clarify expectations.


“I’m also pleased that we will be voting on an amendment offered by Senator Murphy to advance tools like biomarkers and innovative trial designs to improve how developers understand new products.


“I’m grateful for the work Chairman Alexander has put in to working with me on this legislation.  As we move this bill forward today, I am also looking forward to continuing our bipartisan work together as we develop new cosmetics legislation.”


Senator Murray’s Remarks on the Childhood Cancer STAR Act:


“I’m glad this committee is moving forward the Childhood Cancer STAR Act, which can help patients, families, and their providers fight childhood cancer. There are many institutions—like the  Seattle Children's Hospital and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Washington state—that are devoted to ending childhood cancer, finding cures, and improving how we care for survivors.


“This legislation aids that important work improving access to biospecimen repositories to address the challenges inherent in studying childhood cancers, identifying best practices to help doctors address the long-term health challenges survivors face, and reducing health disparities and cultural and linguistic barriers that can compromise care for many of these patients.


“I want to recognize Senator Reed for his leadership in bringing together so many passionate voices on this legislation, as well as Senator Capito for working closely with him throughout this process. I am glad our committee is able to move their efforts forward.”


Senator Murray’s Remarks on the State Offices of Rural Health Reauthorization Act of 2018:


“For over 20 years, offices of rural health in every state have worked to improve access to and quality of health care for over 60 million people in remote communities. The research and resources they provide are critical to reaching individuals whose health needs might otherwise go unmet.


“In Washington state, our office of rural health recently announced new partnerships in support of the Washington Rural Palliative Care Initiative. Through these partnerships, the office is helping to fund new telehealth projects and trainings that can make getting a health consultation easier for rural families. And offices of rural health across the country are supporting other innovative projects to improve health care for rural patients.


“I’m glad we are moving forward this important legislation to reauthorize these programs. I’d like to thank Senator Roberts and Senator Heitkamp for their efforts and leadership on this bill. I’m grateful to Senator Smith, and her state’s office of rural health who I know were also helpful in this effort as well.”


Senator Murray’s Remarks on the Supporting Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Act:


“As our committee has continued to hear from those impacted by the opioid crisis about the challenges they face, we have also continued to see members put forward strong solutions. I’m grateful to Senator Casey and Senator Collins for their leadership on one such bill today.


“One of the challenges of the opioid crisis is that more grandparents and relatives are taking on an unexpected role as caregivers for children whose parents are struggling with addiction. This bill will help us make sure we understand what these grandparents—and the kids they care for—need, by creating a task force focused on their support.


“I’m proud to support this legislation and to continue our bipartisan work to respond to the opioid crisis and the many challenges it presents to our communities and families.”