News Headlines Article

House, Senate hope to send Obama anti-opioid abuse bill before summer
Chicago Tribune

Congress is ready to start crafting compromise legislation addressing the nation’s opioid abuse crisis, which should be an easier lift than other issues facing lawmakers. The reason: Both parties have an election-year incentive to show they’re tackling a problem that’s killing people in America’s biggest cities and smallest towns.

The House approved three bills Thursday setting up federal grants and taking other steps to battle the drug epidemic, the last of 18 measures on the issue the chamber overwhelmingly passed this week. Members of both parties hailed the measures, though Democrats complained that none provided any money for the programs and anti-drug advocates called the bills a needed but modest first step.

“It’s a very important start, but we need dollars, we need statutory changes and we need sustained focus and attention,” said Robert Morrison, executive director of the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors.