‘Let’s do our part today to help those in recovery take their lives back. To help keep families together and kids safer. To help prevent more Americans from suffering at the hands of addiction…[Let’s] continue our work to pass the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, an important step forward in the fight against our national opioid and heroin crisis.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 regarding his discussion with the President on the nation’s drug epidemic and bipartisan legislation to help address this national crisis:
“We had a constructive discussion about legislative issues like the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic sweeping our country and the important bill we’ll continue considering today to help address it.
“The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, or CARA, is bipartisan legislation that targets this crisis at every level.
“The bill has a host of supporters, including 42 bipartisan cosponsors and more than 130 groups dedicated to combatting the epidemic.
“And while this is an important authorization bill, I would also note that Congress has already appropriated $400 million to opioid-specific programs too.
“All $400 million of those funds still remain available to be spent today.
“These funds are still available, and we will have more opportunities to address funding through the appropriations process this spring.
“Michael Botticelli, the Obama Administration’s Director of National Drug Control Policy, came before a hearing just a few months ago and thanked Congress for including funding in the FY 16 spending bill saying, ‘We appreciate that Congress provided more than $400 million in funding in the FY 16 Appropriations Act, specifically to address the opioid epidemic, an increase of more than $100 million from 2015.’
“Botticelli went on to say there is ‘clear evidence that a comprehensive response’ like that of CARA is ‘tremendously important.’ He said that the provisions in CARA are ‘critically important to make headway in terms of this epidemic.’
“Let’s not allow this issue to get tangled in politics, it’s too important to each of our states.
“Let’s do our part today to help those in recovery take their lives back. To help keep families together and kids safer. To help prevent more Americans from suffering at the hands of addiction.
“Let’s put politics aside and continue our work to pass the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, an important step forward in the fight against our national opioid and heroin crisis.”