Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Says “Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018” is “Landmark Legislation”

Posted on September 17, 2018

9-17-2018 IMAGE.png

*Click here for VIDEO of the Senator’s remarks.* 

“We are already working to combine the Senate and House-passed bills into an even stronger bill to fight our nation’s worst public health crisis. There is a bipartisan sense of urgency to send the bill to the President quickly.” — Sen. Lamar Alexander, Senate health committee chairman

WASHINGTON, September 17, 2018 — The U.S. Senate today passed The Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018—which Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) calls “landmark” legislation—by a vote of 99-1. The legislation includes proposals from five Senate committees and over 70 senators.

Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who is the sponsor of the legislation, said he is “already working to combine the Senate and House-passed bills into an even stronger law to fight the nation’s worst public health crisis, and there is a bipartisan sense of urgency to send the bill to the President quickly.”

Alexander added: “The Fiscal Year 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Bill Congress passed in March of this year included $4.7 billion to fight the opioid crisis, of which $1 billion was for grants to states. The Fiscal Year 2019 Health and Human Services Appropriations Bill, which the Senate is likely to pass this week includes $3.8 billion to help combat the opioid crisis. This would mean Congress has approved roughly $8.5 billion for the opioids crisis within a few months. According to Senator Roy Blunt, the chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee responsible for this bill, federal funding to help combat the opioid crisis has increased by nearly 1,300 percent over the past 4 years.”

Here are 10 key provisions in the Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018:

  1. The STOP ACT—to stop illegal drugs, including fentanyl, at the border
  2. New non-addictive painkillers, research and fast-track
  3. Blister packs for opioids, such as a 3 or 7-day supply
  4. More medication–assisted treatment
  5. Prevent “doctor-shopping” by improving state prescription drug monitoring programs 
  6. More behavioral and mental health providers
  7. Support for comprehensive opioid recovery centers
  8. Help for babies born in opioid withdrawal
  9. Help for mothers with opioid use disorders
  10. More early intervention with vulnerable children who have experienced trauma 

A section by section of The Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018 is here.

###