Shaheen on Senate Floor: “We Need to Fund CARA” to Address the Opioid Epidemic

September 22, 2016

**Marking Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week, Shaheen Calls on Congress to “put actual resources behind all of our talk about stemming this crisis”**

 **SHAHEEN: “We know in this chamber that CARA is an authorizing bill and doesn’t provide one penny to fight the opioid epidemic” **

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(Washington, DC) — This morning, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) delivered remarks on the Senate floor to mark Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week and urge Congress to pass needed emergency funding to address the opioid crisis that continues to devastate New Hampshire and communities across the country. Shaheen called the opioid epidemic “the most pervasive, destructive, and urgent public health crisis facing our Nation.” In her remarks, Senator Shaheen called on the Republican-led Congress to appropriate funding for the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), which became law in July, but as Shaheen pointed out, “it doesn’t provide even one penny to fight the opioid epidemic.” A co-sponsor of CARA, Shaheen continued, “We need to put actual resources behind all of our talk about stemming this crisis.”

“Despite this appalling death toll, despite what the statistics tell us, this Senate failed to provide emergency funding to first responders, to treatment providers on the front lines of this crisis.”  

“For tens of thousands of Americans, this is very literally a matter of life and death,” said Shaheen. “So let’s put politics aside and do the job the American people sent us here to do. At long last, let’s give law enforcement and treatment providers on the front lines the resources they need to effectively address the opioid crisis.”  

Shaheen has introduced legislation to provide emergency funding totaling $600 million to programs at 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. In March, Republicans in the Senate rejected Senator Shaheen’s amendment to CARA, by a vote of 48 (Y) to 47 (N), which would have provided emergency funding to states, first responders and treatment providers.