Alexander: Senate Committee Advances Bill that Could Boost Tennessee’s Fight Against Opioids, Meth

Posted on June 14, 2018

WASHINGTON, June 14, 2018 — United States Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said states like Tennessee could get a boost in their fight against the opioid crisis in a bill the Senate Appropriations Committee, of which Alexander is the 3rd ranking Republican member, approved today. 

“This bill provides $482.5 million for Department of Justice grants to help states like Tennessee tackle the opioid crisis. States could use these grants to help fund their drug courts, educational efforts, law enforcement programs, recovery programs, and treatment programs,” Alexander said. “The bill also provides $18 million for meth and heroin lab cleanup in Tennessee and across the nation and ensures law enforcement has the tools they need to fight crime.” 

Alexander continued, “Another very important aspect of the bill is the continued investment onf federal science research. The bill upgrades the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) high performance computer, known as “Gaea,” which is located at Oak Ridge National Laboratory [ORNL]. Just last week ORNL announced it built the world’s most powerful supercomputer, known as “’Summit,’ which is further proof of the area’s scientific brainpower. This bill will allow NOAA to leverage that brainpower to deliver better weather and climate science research.  Science and innovation is what made America first, and I recommend that President Trump add supercomputing to his ‘America First’ agenda.”

The Fiscal Year 2019 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill provides:

  • $482.5 million for Department of Justice (DOJ) grants to help state and local partners tackle the opioid crisis, including $360 million as authorized by the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act.
  • $10 million for the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to support methamphetamine lab cleanup. 
  • $8 million for competitive grants for Anti-Methamphetamine Task Forces. 
  • $37 million for the Regional Information Sharing Systems Program (RISS) to assist law enforcement agencies in collecting and sharing information, supporting criminal investigations and promoting law enforcement officer safety 
  • $8.07 billion for the National Science Foundation (NSF).
  • $30.7 billion for the U.S. Department of Justice. (DOJ).

Today, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the Fiscal Year 2019 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. The committee also approved the Fiscal Year 2019 Legislative Branch Appropriations bill, which provides funding for Capitol Police, the Library of Congress and the Government Accountability Office, an independent agency that investigates how federal taxpayer dollars are spent. Both bills are consistent with the spending limits included in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 approved by Congress, and signed by President Trump, in February. The legislation is now ready for consideration by the full Senate.