Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioRubio won’t say if Trump would keep US safe Clinton fails to contain damage from email leaks Five takeaways from New Hampshire Senate debate 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 WhitehouseMoney for nothing: Rethinking CO2 Dem takes Exxon fight to GOP chairman's backyard Anti-trade senators say chamber would be crazy to pass TPP MORE (D-R.I.) and Rob PortmanRob PortmanDemocrats pounce on Cruz's Supreme Court comments Five takeaways from Florida Senate debate Endangered GOP senator: I don't know for whom I'll vote 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 McConnellCures bill in jeopardy amid drug pricing push Senate Democratic super PAC sets fundraising record Five takeaways from Florida Senate debate 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 CruzTrump knocks Kasich for breaking pledge Democrats pounce on Cruz's Supreme Court comments Brent Budowsky: An epic battle for the future of Congress 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.