Why mental health bill isn’t moving

By Bridget Bowman
Posted at 5 a.m. on Dec. 16

“We have to do it now,” Rep. Tim Murphy said on the House floor, urging Congress to act on his mental health system overhaul legislation in the wake of another mass shooting.

That was two years ago. In December 2013, the Pennsylvania Republican introduced his comprehensive mental health bill — which has recently been lauded by top House Republicans, including Speaker Paul D. Ryan, as a potential response to mass shootings. It was near the first anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., where 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed 20 children and six adults.

For Murphy, a clinical psychologist, it’s unclear why his bill, which he reminds his colleagues of after the nation’s frequent mass shootings, hasn’t moved forward in Congress. “I’ve got a Ph.D. and I’ve practiced in this field for 40 years and I still can’t tell you why some people act the way they do,” Murphy said. “This is — to me it’s beyond comprehension.”

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