SHAHEEN APPLAUDS HOUSE PASSAGE OF 21st CENTURY CURES LEGISLATION WITH FUNDING TO FIGHT OPIOID EPIDEMIC
**Shaheen led efforts to include $1 billion to combat opioid crisis as part of her continuing fight in Congress to secure funding for states**
**Last week, Shaheen sent a letter to congressional leadership calling for funding increase**
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) applauded House passage of bipartisan legislation that includes $1 billion to combat the opioid epidemic nationwide. The 21st Century Cures Act, which focuses on discovery, development and delivery of new medical cures, would provide a total of $1 billion for programs that help states like New Hampshire battle the opioid epidemic. Of the $1 billion, $500 million would be immediately available and the remaining $500 million would be disbursed next year. Shaheen was instrumental in securing funding as part of the legislation and has led the charge in Congress since November 2015 to fund the response to the opioid crisis. Shaheen has also consistently advocated for funding that will assist states hit hardest by the opioid crisis, including New Hampshire. The version of the bill passed today in the House includes language directing the Secretary of Health and Human Services to prioritize states that have experienced the worst crises as a result of the epidemic. The Senate is expected to begin consideration of this legislation soon.
“Today, we are one step closer to getting critical funding to combat the opioid crisis that is devastating New Hampshire families and communities,” said Senator Shaheen. “This time last year, I introduced legislation that would immediately provide emergency funds to law enforcement and providers on the frontlines focused on treatment and recovery; now, finally, Congress is moving forward. I’m also relieved that this bill ensures that funding will be directed to the areas of the country with the most need. Those on the frontlines have waited long enough for Congress to take this epidemic seriously.”
In a letter to Senate leadership last week, Senator Shaheen (D-NH) called for funding to be included in the 21st Century Cures Act, citing bipartisan support for her immediate funding legislation and a lack of funding for the recently enacted Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA). The letter, also signed by Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Ed Markey (D-MA), and Joe Donnelly (D-IN), states:
“Our law enforcement, health care system, families, and states simply cannot tackle the problem alone and without necessary resources. As the end of the year fast approaches, it is past time for Republicans and Democrats to come together to provide emergency funding and increase investments in prevention and treatment services for opioid use, misuse, and use disorders. Until we do, our job is not done and our communities will continue to hurt. We urge you to act immediately to ensure that Congress fulfills its commitment to the American people by providing adequate resources to help quell this epidemic in the 21st Century Cures Act. We stand ready and look forward to working with you to swiftly achieve this goal.”
In November 2015, Senator Shaheen introduced emergency funding legislation would provide immediate supplemental appropriations totaling $600 million to states through programs administered by the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services that focus on treatment and recovery, as well as state and local law enforcement initiatives. Shaheen was a co-sponsor of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) and has repeatedly called on the Republican-led Congress to fund CARA.