House Will Vote on Mental Health Bill After Recess

congressbuildingThe House will vote on a long-stalled mental health bill next month, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s office confirmed.

The bill, from Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.), unanimously passed the Energy and Commerce Committee last week, but garnering Democratic support required that the bill be skimmed down from its original version. McCarthy informed Republicans of the timeline in a conference meeting Wednesday.

The vote will take place after the July Fourth recess, but before the chamber recesses for the party conventions and August in mid-July.

Among other things, the bill would create a new assistant secretary position to focus on mental health and substance abuse issues within the Department of Health and Human Services. It would also authorize grants for community treatment centers and clarify privacy regulations. Murphy has said he expects funding for the bill to be provided in next year’s appropriations process.

Across the Capitol, senators are also trying to finalize a deal on a mental health bill, with limited legislative days left on the calendar. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and a sponsor of the Senate bill, said a deal on how or weather to involve guns in the bill is the primary issue stopping the legislation from being ready for a floor vote.


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