On Senate Floor Shaheen Calls for Vote on Her Emergency Supplemental Funding Amendment to Fast-Track Urgently Needed Resources to Address Opioid Crisis

**Amendment to Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) would provide $600 million in emergency funding**

March 01, 2016

(Washington, DC) – Today on the Senate floor, as the Senate considers the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) called for a vote on her amendment, cosponsored by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), to provide $600 million in emergency supplemental funding to those on the frontlines of the opioid crisis. This funding would be quickly released nationwide to public health workers and law enforcement officials, whose services are often overwhelmed by this pandemic. Shaheen noted that she has met with treatment providers, law enforcement and state officials across New Hampshire who consistently tell her of the urgent need for additional resources.

Senator Shaheen concluded her remarks on the Senate floor as follows:

“We cannot avert our eyes from 47,000 Americans killed by lethal overdoses each year.  We cannot accept that nine out of 10 Americans with substance use disorders do not get treatment. We cannot ignore the fact that law enforcement officers in communities across this country are overwhelmed by aggressive drug traffickers and a rising tide of opioid-related crimes. 

“CARA will help fight the heroin and opioid epidemic in the longer term.  But I urge my colleagues to also support this amendment because it will provide urgent emergency funding to ramp up this fight in the months immediately ahead. 

“This is a nationwide crisis. It’s time to mobilize a nationwide response that is equal to the challenge. So I urge my colleagues, I urge the Majority Leader, to allow a vote on my amendment, to pass this out, so we can give our local communities and our states the resources they need. Thank you Mr. President. I yield the floor.” 

You can watch Senator Shaheen’s full remarks here.

Shaheen’s amendment would provide $600 million in emergency funding, including:  

Department of Justice

  • Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program (Byrne-JAG) - $230 million to fund state and local law enforcement initiatives associated with the heroin and opioid crisis, including approved treatment alternatives to incarceration.
  • COPS Anti-Heroin Task Force Grant - $10 million to assist state and local law enforcement with high per-capita levels of opioid and heroin use, targeting resources to support police drug interdiction operations on the ground (Section 204 of CARA). 

Department of Health and Human Services

  • Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant- $300 million for states to fund programs related to prevention, treatment, recovery support and other services associated with the heroin and opioid crisis.  For many states, this program is the primary source of federal dollars to address the misuse of drugs.  This section also includes $20 million set aside specifically to improve treatment for pregnant and postpartum women (Section 501 of CARA).   
  • Prescription Drug Overdose Prevention for States- $50 million to support the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) work on prescription drug monitoring programs, community health system interventions, and rapid response projects.
  • Medication Assisted Treatment for Prescription Drug and Opioid Addiction - $10 million to improve access in high-risk communities to medication-assisted treatment services for heroin and prescription opioids (Section 301 of CARA).