Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioClinton brings in the heavy hitters Guess which Cuban-American 2016 candidate best set themselves up for 2020? Budowsky: Why Warren masters Trump MORE is signing on to a bill to combat drug abuse as he competes in the presidential primary in New Hampshire, which has one of the nation's worst rates of opioid abuse.
Rubio backs bill to curb drug abuse
The Florida Republican said Monday that he is supporting a bipartisan bill from Sens. Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseWhy Kaine is the right choice for Clinton Report: More, stronger cyber attacks to flood networks Senate Dems push Obama for more Iran transparency MORE (D-R.I.) and Rob PortmanRob PortmanUnion group backs GOP Sen. Portman in Ohio race Dem ad blasts Indiana senate candidate on Social Security The Trail 2016: Trump’s big night MORE (R-Ohio) that would expand treatment and prevention efforts aimed at curbing prescription drug and heroin abuse.
"It’s important to ensure that proper treatment services are there for those who are seeking help or who have fallen through the cracks, and this bill will help them get the care they deserve," Rubio said.
Rubio's support for the legislation comes as the issue has gained prominence in the 2016 presidential election particularly in New Hampshire, which has its primary on Tuesday. The Florida senator took third place in the Iowa caucuses and has been hoping for at least a second-place showing in the early-voting state.
The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to mark up the Portman-Whitehouse bill Thursday.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellProgressive group changes tone on Kaine Trump hits Kaine on TPP: He supports a 'job killer' Clinton maps out first 100 days MORE (R-Ky.) suggested late last month that the Senate would try to pass legislation this year and that lawmakers were "anxious" to see what gets passed out of the committee. The Obama administration is also seeking $1 billion to fight the epidemic.
Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzTeam Clinton: Sanders will help campaign take on 'rigged system' Clinton brings in the heavy hitters Wasserman Schultz drama overshadows Dem convention MORE, who is competing with Rubio for the GOP nomination, has not formally signed on to the Portman-Whitehouse legislation. The Texas Republican, however, has repeatedly discussed his half-sister's struggle with drug addiction and eventual death during the campaign, including at a forum last week in New Hampshire.