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Courtney Votes For Compromise Opioid Bill While Continuing To Advocate For Emergency Funding

July 8, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. —Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02) voted for the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) which passed the House by a vote of 407-5. The bill will now await a final vote in the Senate.

“I am deeply disappointed that Republican leadership refuses to even consider the emergency funding that communities across this country are crying out for to address their most pressing needs such as increasing the number of treatment beds,” said Courtney. “We are facing down a nationwide public health emergency of almost unprecedented scale, and today Congress took a pass on taking any real action which could help turn the tide against this epidemic of rising drug abuse. The measure we passed today simply does not match the severity of the crisis it is it meant to address.

“However, I ultimately voted in favor of the bill today because it contained a handful of policy changes which were already overdue, such as changes to the way we handle prescription opioids, as well as implementing new prevention and education initiatives. The legislation that passed the House today authorizes, but does not fund: expansion of prevention and education efforts, expansion of medication assisted treatment, expansion of evidence-based addiction studies, and expansion of naloxone availability to law enforcement and first responders. In addition, the bill allows nurse practitioners and physicians assistants authority to prescribe medication assisted treatment, institutes some alternatives to incarceration for individuals with substance use disorders, and increases capability for law enforcement training on substance abuse. I will continue to advocate for the resources and funding that our first responders, medical professionals, and families need to fight back against the growing epidemic of drug use.”