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Courtney Calls On House Leadership to Take Up Senate Passed Opioid and Heroin Abuse Legislation

March 10, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02) made the following statement after the Senate passed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) by a margin of 94-1. The legislation now requires passage in the House of Representatives before it can proceed to the President’s desk.

“Today the Senate was able to come together and vote nearly unanimously on a bill which will have a meaningful impact on the growing prescription opioid and heroin abuse crisis – and the House must do the same,” said Courtney. “I urge Speaker Ryan to recognize that our country remains in the grip of a drug abuse epidemic, and that the states urgently need assistance from the federal government in order to properly address this public health emergency. I also hope that the House will consider my bill which would provide an additional $600 million dollars in emergency supplemental funding to address both the law enforcement and public health aspects of drug abuse across our country.

Courtney’s bill, the Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, would authorize $600 million dollars in emergency funding for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to fund a range of programs aimed at treating the public health emergency brought on by drug addiction, as well as funding law enforcement efforts to end the illegal drug trade. The legislation makes grants available to states to assist in the coordination and improvement of already-existing substance abuse prevention and treatment programs. The bill currently has 21 cosponsors in the House.