House Works to Pass Package of Opioid Bills

The U.S. House of Representatives passed two bills, the first in a bipartisan package of bills, aimed at addressing the issues of opioid treatment and prevention.

As reported in USA Today:

The legislation that the House was considering Wednesday included a bill by Rep. Susan Brooks, R-Ind., to create an inter-agency task force to update standards for doctors to manage their patients’ pain and prescribe medication. A separate bill by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., authorizes the Justice Department to provide grants to states and local governments to develop prevention and treatment programs for veterans and others.

The House voted 255-163 on Wednesday to approve rules that clear the way for passage of both bills.

“This historic package of anti-drug bills will deliver critical funds to address the abuse of heroin and opiates, support our loved ones on their path towards recovery, and slow the flow of drugs into our country,” said Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla.

Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 Democrat in the House, said the legislation will not bring needed relief unless Congress also passes 2017 spending bills to pay for the initiatives. Democrats offered an amendment Wednesday to provide $600 million in emergency funding, but it was blocked by Republicans who said the funding will come later when Congress passes its annual spending bills.

“As we work together to take these important steps to prevent opioid abuse and promote recovery, Congress needs to work together to ensure that these efforts are not left unfunded,” Hoyer said. “I’m certain that there is a way we can work together to pay for them.”

For more information read the full article in USA Today.

Previous coverage on Conduit Street: President Proposed $1.1 Billion to Fund Heroin/Opioid Treatment

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