SHAHEEN: THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING

**By a vote of 48 to 47, with 47 Republicans voting “No”, Senator Shaheen’s emergency funding amendment to respond to the opioid pandemic was not adopted**

March 02, 2016

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH ) released the following statement after the Senate failed to pass, by a vote of 48 to 47, her amendment to provide $600 million in emergency funding to law enforcement and treatment providers across the country who are fighting the growing opioid addiction crisis. Due to obstruction from the Republican majority, her amendment needed to meet a 60 vote threshold to proceed:

“While I’m very disappointed my amendment didn’t pass, make no mistake, I’m by no means giving up,” said Shaheen. “As long as Granite State communities continue to be ravaged by this pandemic, I’ll be fighting for Congress to act. The Senate must rise to meet this challenge as it has done in previous health emergencies. There is simply no excuse for Congress providing emergency funding for the Ebola and “swine flu” epidemics, while ignoring an opioid crisis that’s killing a person a day in the Granite State. Today’s vote is just the beginning. This legislation will save lives and I will seek out every opportunity to pass it.”   

Yesterday, Senator Shaheen made the case on the Senate floor for her amendment. You can watch her speech 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 $15 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 Centers 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).