• Senate Republicans Reject Opioid Funding Amendment
  • March 18, 2016
  • Law Firm: McDonald Hopkins LLC - Cleveland Office
  • Senate Republicans rejected an amendment that would add $600 million in emergency money to legislation aimed at combating the nation's heroin and opioid-addiction epidemic.

    The Senate voted 48 to 47 for the amendment, far short of the 60 votes needed. Four Republicans - Senators Rob Portman (R-OH), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Susan Collins (R-ME) - voted for the amendment.

    Opponents of the amendment argued that money was previously added last year to fight the epidemic and that more money can be added during the appropriations process later in the year.

    The amendment was offered to the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act. The bipartisan legislation would authorize the Justice Department to issue grants to assist with state efforts to combat drug abuse, such as prescription drug monitoring programs. It would also increase access to drugs that can counteract the effects of an overdose.

    Democrats in the Senate have expressed frustration, saying the bill would accomplish little without additional funding.