WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the following statement Friday following House passage of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) legislation (conference report):
“Far too many Americans know the toll the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic is taking on our families, our communities and in each of our states. In my home state, we've been hit particularly hard. In fact, just last month, the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy reported Kentucky saw a record high of 1,248 people die of drug overdoses last year. This epidemic is so widespread that over 200 anti-drug groups dealing with the crisis in our communities called for prompt passage of the conference report on CARA in a letter to Congress earlier this week.
“Fortunately, we are one step closer to getting critical legislation to combat our nation’s opiate crisis to the president’s desk. Legislation that can make a difference for the American people. It’s the product of years of hard work, and it’s very similar to the CARA bill that already passed the Senate with no Democrat opposition.
“Now that the Republicans and Democrats in the House have acted, the Senate will move to take up this legislation next week so we can get it to the president for his signature as soon as possible. I hope Senate Democrats join us in this bipartisan effort, just as they did a few months ago. This issue is too important to be caught up now in partisan politics.”
NOTE: Over 200 anti-drug groups from across the country sent a letter to congressional leaders calling for swift passage of the CARA legislation (conference report):
We commend the conferees for the final bill and are calling on Congress for quick action to send this to the President's desk for signature. The report is truly a comprehensive response to the opioid epidemic, which includes critical policy changes and new resources. The report also acknowledges that the six pillars of a comprehensive response are each of equal import and interdependent as a whole, including prevention, treatment, recovery support, criminal justice reform, overdose reversal, and law enforcement. Only through a comprehensive response can we reverse current trends and provide individuals and families impacted by addiction with the services they need. As you know, 129 Americans die each day as a result of drug overdose and this epidemic affects the public health and safety in every community across the country. This bill is the critical response we need.