Rep. Steve Knight’s “No Hero Left Untreated Act” passed the House last November — but because the Senate did not take up the matter before Congress recessed for the year, Knight needs to tee it up one more time for the bill to get back on track to become law.
That process begins Thursday, when the Santa Clarita Republican plans to re-introduce the bill, which would begin a one-year pilot program to help veterans suffering post-traumatic stress and other brain issues, as well as opiate addiction, by using new, high-tech but still experimental neurological treatments.
Knight spokesman Daniel Outlaw confirmed to The Signal on Wednesday that Knight will bring the matter to the House floor on Thursday.
During the previous Congress, Knight’s bill passed the House in a voice vote – basically, unanimously. Then in December it got Senate sponsorship from Sens. David Perdue, R-Ga., and Gary Peters, D-Mich.
But before the Senate companion to Knight’s bill could be voted on, Congress recessed for the year and a new Congress, the 115th, is now in place.
To become law, bills must pass the House and Senate in the same session, so Knight must now re-introduce his bill and begin the process anew.
The previous bill was known as HR 5600, but the new bill will not get a name until it is introduced Thursday.
According to Outlaw, one addition to the new bill would start the pilot programs no later than 90 days within date of enactment.
Once introduced, the measure will have 47 bipartisan co-sponsors, Outlaw said.
The bill calls for a pilot program under the auspices of the Department of Veterans Affairs to use technology is known as Magnetic Resonance Therapy, or MRT. Basically, MRT identifies specific areas of the brain that are out of sync or malfunctioning as a result of PTS or traumatic injury, and addresses those areas.
MRT also provides a kind of motion picture of the brain’s functionality, the way an EKG can monitor a beating heart, compared to the static, snapshot way an X-ray merely looks an organ’s structure.
“This legislation would provide real solutions and hope for our men and women in uniform who are suffering, and has widespread support within the veteran community,’’ Knight said in December.