Senate leader tees up drug abuse bill
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellSasse has 'nothing to announce' on GOP ObamaCare repeal Price: 'No guarantees' people won't fall through cracks of healthcare bill Senate Republicans reluctant to rush vote on healthcare bill MORE (R-Ky.) is moving the chamber to take up bipartisan legislation aimed at tackling drug addiction as senators try to overcome final hurdles on a deal on funding to respond to the Flint, Mich., drinking water crisis. 

"Senator [Lisa] Murkowski and Senator [Maria] Cantwell and many others continue to work diligently on a way to wrap up the energy bill and to deal with the Flint issue. In the meantime, I'll be ... filing cloture on a motion to proceed to the opioid bill," the Republican leader said. 
 
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McConnell's move means the Senate will take a first vote early next week, unless senators can get an agreement to skip over procedural hurdles. 
 
Democrats are pushing for a vote on an amendment from Sen. Jeanne Shaheen Jeanne ShaheenDems push for more action on power grid cybersecurity Senate overwhelmingly passes Russia sanctions deal Russia sanctions deal clears key Senate hurdle MORE (D-N.H.) that would give $600 million in emergency funding. 
 
"It’s more important than ever we back our words with real solutions, real resources. That’s why the amendment by Senator Shaheen to the opioid bill will be important and I hope it gets every consideration, and I hope it passes," Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidWarren cautions Dems against infighting Dems see surge of new candidates Dems to grind Senate to a halt over ObamaCare repeal fight MORE (D-Nev.) said from the Senate floor Thursday. 
 
While top Democrats have suggested they plan to fight for a vote on the amendment, they've stopped short of suggesting they would reject the overall legislation if it's not included. 
 
McConnell, while not addressing the Democratic push, said Thursday he's "hopeful that we can reach an agreement to finish this bill with just a handful of amendments next week." 
 
The Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), would authorize funding for programs to combat prescription drug and heroin abuse, in addition to increasing the availability of naxolone, a drug to treat overdose. 
 
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in December that overdose deaths reached an all-time high in 2014.