WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) today spoke on the House floor in support of H.R. 2646, the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act. H.R. 2646, the most significant reform to the mental health system in decades, passed the House 422-2.

Remarks:

“I want to thank my colleague from Pennsylvania for yielding and especially for taking the lead on this issue. 

“It’s been decades since Congress has reformed our mental health laws and unfortunately we’ve seen so many negative aspects since then, like suicide rates through the roof and so many other problems throughout our country. It’s touched every community in this nation and we see a growing problem with mental health. 

“This bill really refocuses efforts, but it also puts a different priority on federal grants and agencies to force them to do a better job of addressing these problems. It also helps families to get more involved in the mental health problems that their own children face, which right now some federal laws make it harder for parents to help their own children. 

These kinds of serious problems have been complicated to work through, Mr. Speaker. When you look at the fact it’s been decades, there’s a reason why. This is hard work. It’s complicated work. But if you didn’t have a champion like Tim Murphy leading for years — this bill has been at least three years in the making — and so it’s very important we bring this bill to the floor today and pass it over to the Senate. This is not only reform that can pass the House, but reform that can actually get signed into law by the President and make a real difference impacting and improving people’s lives. 

“I yield back the balance of my time.”