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Bipartisan Solution to Cyclical Violence Act of 2020

Floor Speech

Date: Nov. 17, 2020
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the bill (H.R. 5855) to amend the Public Health Service Act to establish a grant program supporting trauma center violence intervention and violence prevention programs, and for other purposes, as amended.

The Clerk read the title of the bill.

The text of the bill is as follows: H.R. 5855

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

This Act may be cited as the ``Bipartisan Solution to Cyclical Violence Act of 2020''. SEC. 2. GRANT PROGRAM SUPPORTING TRAUMA CENTER VIOLENCE INTERVENTION AND VIOLENCE PREVENTION PROGRAMS.

Part P of title III of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 280g et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following new section: ``SEC. 399V-7. GRANT PROGRAM SUPPORTING TRAUMA CENTER VIOLENCE INTERVENTION AND VIOLENCE PREVENTION PROGRAMS.

``(a) Authority Established.--

``(1) In general.--The Secretary shall award grants to eligible entities to establish or expand violence intervention or prevention programs for services and research designed to reduce the incidence of reinjury and reincarceration caused by intentional violent trauma, excluding intimate partner violence.

``(2) First award.--Not later than 9 months after the date of enactment of this section, the Secretary shall make the first award under paragraph (1).

``(3) Grant duration.--Each grant awarded under paragraph (1) shall be for a period of three years.

``(4) Grant amount.--The total amount of each grant awarded under paragraph (1) for the 3-year grant period shall be not less than $250,000 and not more than $500,000.

``(5) Supplement not supplant.--A grant awarded under paragraph (1) to an eligible entity with an existing program described in paragraph (1) shall be used to supplement, and not supplant, any other funds provided to such entity for such program.

``(b) Eligible Entities.--To be eligible to receive a grant under subsection (a)(1), an entity shall--

``(1) either be--

``(A) a State-designated trauma center, or a trauma center verified by the American College of Surgeons, that conducts or seeks to conduct a violence intervention or violence prevention program; or

``(B) a nonprofit entity that conducts or seeks to conduct a program described in subparagraph (A) in cooperation with a trauma center described in such subparagraph;

``(2) serve a community in which at least 100 incidents of intentional violent trauma occur annually; and

``(3) submit to the Secretary an application at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require.

``(c) Selection of Grant Recipients.--

``(1) Geographic diversity.--In selecting grant recipients under subsection (a)(1), the Secretary shall ensure that collectively grantees represent a diversity of geographic areas.

``(2) Priority.--In selecting grant recipients under subsection (a)(1), the Secretary shall prioritize applicants that serve one or more communities with high absolute numbers or high rates of intentional violent trauma.

``(3) Health professional shortage areas.--

``(A) Encouragement.--The Secretary shall encourage entities described in paragraphs (1) and (2) that are located in or serve a health professional shortage area to apply for grants under subsection (a)(1).

``(B) Definition.--In subparagraph (A), the term `health professional shortage area' means a health professional shortage area designated under section 332.

``(d) Reports.--

``(1) Reports to secretary.--

``(A) In general.--An entity that receives a grant under subsection (a)(1) shall submit reports on the use of the grant funds to the Secretary, including progress reports, as required by the Secretary. Such reports shall include--

``(i) any findings of the program established, or expanded, by the entity through the grant; and

``(ii) if applicable, the manner in which the entity has incorporated such findings in the violence intervention or violence prevention program conducted by such entity.

``(B) Option for joint report.--To the extent feasible and appropriate, an entity that receives a grant under subsection (a)(1) may elect to coordinate with one or more other entities that have received such a grant to submit a joint report that meets the requirements of subparagraph (A).

``(2) Report to congress.--Not later than six years after the date of enactment of the Bipartisan Solution to Cyclical Violence Act of 2020, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report--

``(A) on any findings resulting from reports submitted to the Secretary under paragraph (1);

``(B) on best practices developed by the Secretary under subsection (e); and

``(C) with recommendations for legislative action relating to intentional violent trauma prevention that the Secretary determines appropriate.

``(e) Best Practices.--Not later than six years after the date of enactment of the Bipartisan Solution to Cyclical Violence Act of 2020, the Secretary shall--

``(1) develop, and post on a public website of the Department of Health and Human Services, best practices for intentional violent trauma prevention, based on any findings reported to the Secretary under subsection (d)(1); and

``(2) disseminate such best practices to stakeholders, as determined appropriate by the Secretary.

``(f) Authorization of Appropriations.--To carry out this section, there is authorized to be appropriated $10,000,000 for the period of fiscal years 2021 through 2024.''.

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Mr. PALLONE. 5855.

Mr. Speaker, trauma is a pressing public health epidemic. In 2016 alone, trauma accounted for 29.2 million emergency department visits and 39.5 million physician office visits in the U.S.

Tragically, homicide is the leading cause of death for Black males 1 to 24 years old and the second leading cause of death in Hispanic males 1 to 24 years old.

Regardless of race, among those who survive a single violent trauma, it is estimated that up to 45 percent will experience a second violent trauma. This is where H.R. 5855 steps in to provide critical data- driven interventions.

The Bipartisan Solution to Cyclical Violence Act of 2020 identifies patients at risk of repeat violent injury and connects them with hospital and community-based resources. The bill bridges tragedy with hospital-based violence intervention programs by providing intensive case management to individuals who have experienced at least one violent trauma. These programs have been shown to successfully reduce injury recidivism and help those at risk for violence live safer lives.

I want to commend my colleagues, Representatives Ruppersberger and Kinzinger, for spearheading this initiative and the University of Maryland Hospital for establishing its shock trauma unit, which established the first cycles of violence intervention program.

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Mr. PALLONE. Madam Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Ruppersberger), the sponsor of the legislation.

(Mr. RUPPERSBERGER asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

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Mr. PALLONE. Madam Speaker, I also urge all of my colleagues to support this legislation, and I yield back the balance of my time.

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