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Shaheen Calls for More Bipartisan Efforts to Boost Funding to Combat Opioid Epidemic

(Washington, DC)—Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) issued the following statement in response to the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. The legislation outlines government funding for national health priorities, including programs to fight the opioid crisis that kills approximately 90 Americans each day. Today’s markup of the bill didn’t include substantial increases in funding to combat the opioid epidemic, despite the overwhelming effects this public health crisis has had on communities in New Hampshire and across the nation.

“The opioid epidemic killed hundreds of Granite Staters and thousands of Americans across the nation last year. New Hampshire, and other hard-hit states across the country, need funding to meet this growing crisis. Congress has made incremental progress through government funding and authorizing legislation, but unfortunately, this bill doesn’t fully address the scope of this crisis,” said Shaheen. “I supported the bill because it includes important investments that will help combat this epidemic, though those investments simply don’t go far enough. As the appropriations process moves forward, it’s essential that Congress continues to work across the aisle to increase the resources that first responders and treatment providers desperately need.”

Senator Jeanne Shaheen serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee and is the lead Democrat on the Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Subcommittee. Earlier this year, she helped secure over $700 million in additional opioid treatment resources. Senator Shaheen has been a leader in Congress on combating the opioid crisis, and was instrumental in efforts to obtain emergency funding through the 21st Century Cures Act that was signed into law by President Obama last year.