Now is the Time to Get Opioid Legislation to the President’s Desk
Now is the Time to Get Opioid Legislation to the President’s Desk ‘The conference report the Senate will soon consider can make a difference for the American people, it’s the product of years of hard work, and it’s very similar to the CARA bill that already passed the Senate with no Democrat opposition…Now is the time to finalize it, as the nearly 200 groups who fight this epidemic in our states are advocating, because this issue is just too important to be caught up in partisan politics.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor today regarding the bipartisan Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA):
“Far too many Americans know the toll the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic is taking on our families, our communities, and each of our states.
“Anti-drug groups certainly know the toll this crisis is taking, and nearly 200 groups dealing with the crisis in their communities called for action in a letter to Congress just this week. They wrote to endorse the conference report for the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act. Let me share what they wrote:
We commend the conferees for the final bill and are calling on Congress for quick action to send this to the President's desk for signature. The report is truly a comprehensive response to the opioid epidemic, which includes critical policy changes and new resources. The report also acknowledges that the six pillars of a comprehensive response are each of equal import and interdependent as a whole, including prevention, treatment, recovery support, criminal justice reform, overdose reversal, and law enforcement. Only through a comprehensive response can we reverse current trends and provide individuals and families impacted by addiction with the services they need. As you know, 129 Americans die each day as a result of drug overdose and this epidemic affects the public health and safety in every community across the country. This bill is the critical response we need.
“These are groups like the Vermont Recovery Network, Free Heroin’s Hold in Minnesota, Kent County Memorial Hospital in Rhode Island, and Voices of Hope in my home state of Kentucky, among dozens and dozens more.
“Many have seen the impact of this epidemic firsthand. They know the difference this legislation could make. And they’re calling for us to send this bill to the President as soon as possible.
“There’s no reason our Democratic colleagues shouldn’t support this conference report now as well, especially given their support for CARA when the Senate voted 94-1 to pass it. The Senior Senator from Vermont called the bill ‘historic’ and said he was ‘proud to be a cosponsor.’
“The Senior Senator from Ohio has commended colleagues for ‘coming together in a bipartisan way,’ and ‘taking action on the opioid epidemic that is devastating communities across our country.’ And, just last week, the Senior Senator from Washington penned an op-ed praising the progress on addressing the epidemic. ‘I’m proud,’ she wrote, ‘to be working with Republicans and Democrats to conference legislation, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), which would offer cities and states stronger tools to confront opioid addiction.’ It’s understandable why she’d be proud.
“The Trilogy Recovery Community — an organization in Washington State that has joined the chorus of those calling for passage of the CARA conference report — would certainly agree.
“The conference report the Senate will soon consider can make a difference for the American people, it’s the product of years of hard work, and it’s very similar to the CARA bill that already passed the Senate with no Democrat opposition.
“Now is the time to finalize it, as the nearly 200 groups who fight this epidemic in our states are advocating, because this issue is just too important to be caught up in partisan politics.”