ICYMI: Guthrie Questions Health Secretary on Opioids, Workforce Development

Click here to view Congressman Guthrie’s questions.


WASHINGTON, D.C.– Congressman Brett Guthrie (KY-02), chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee’s Higher Education and Workforce Development Subcommittee, questioned U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar about how HHS is helping people suffering from opioid use disorder, as well as what the agency is doing to help individuals who are dependent on federal benefit programs become financially independent and transition into the workforce.


At a full Education and the Workforce Committee hearing, Guthrie remarked, “There are employers with open arms waiting for people to come into the workforce. Like the late 90s, we are at a time it appears the economy is beginning to roar. Maybe it’s a great opportunity to [get people into the workforce].”


Guthrie has long championed workforce development programs through his work on the Education and the Workforce Committee. Most recently, he established the bipartisan Apprenticeship Caucus to explore how Congress can support apprenticeships as a means to help more people enter the workforce.


Guthrie also asked Secretary Azar about the ongoing national opioid crisis.


“Kentucky has really been hit hard like everywhere else [with] the opioid epidemic,” said Guthrie. “One issue that I want to focus on here is the infants who are born with addiction because of their parent.” Azar agreed with Congressman Guthrie, noting the shocking numberKentucky infants born with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome.


Guthrie, who also serves as vice chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee, has made combating the opioid crisis one of his top priorities in Congress. He recently asked the U.S. Government Accountability Office to review how federal programs are being used to support efforts to help people with substance us disorder gain employment. He also sent a letter to U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Alex Acosta to request the department gather best practices to help inform the efforts of workforce development boards in helping people with substance use disorder find jobs.