Senate Set to Pass Bipartisan Bill to Combat Opioids | NTK Network Senate Set to Pass Bipartisan Bill to Combat Opioids

Senate Set to Pass Bipartisan Bill to Combat Opioids

Republicans and Democrats are coming together to vote for a bill designed to curb the widespread abuse of opioids.

By NTK Staff | 09.17.2018 @12:30pm
Senate Set to Pass Bipartisan Bill to Combat Opioids

The Senate is slated to vote on Monday for a bill that aims to combat the widespread opioid epidemic that has gripped the nation for the past several years. It’s a rare bipartisan move scheduled just weeks before the 2018 midterms, underscoring the importance of this issue.

According to CNN, the Senate is taking up the issue after a June House vote on similar legislation. The Senate bill has widespread buy-in from senators on both sides of the aisle:

The package is made up of provisions from five Senate committees and more than 70 lawmakers, and comes after the House passed a similar piece of legislation in June.

This legislation is sponsored by Tennessee Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander, chairman of the Senate Health Committee and includes several initiatives that work to curb the opioid crisis.

Included in the bill are provisions that allow the U.S. Food and Drug Administration the ability to require opioids to carry specific warnings on packaging and “a push for research on non-addictive pain killers.”

In terms of real dollars, the Senate has already dedicated billions to battling opioids, and another so-called minibus bill is expected to provide even more for the upcoming fiscal year, according to USA Today:

Some $4.7 billion directed toward the opioid crisis was included in the omnibus budget bill approved in March, and Alexander said another $3.7 billion is likely to be appropriated for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins October 1.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that more than 63,600 people died from an overdose in 2016. Of those deaths, 42,249 involved an opioid.

In August, President Trump tweeted his support for similar legislation sponsored by Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH).

After the senators vote on this bill on Monday, the legislation will head to the president’s desk.

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