Opioid abuse bill overcomes procedural hurdle
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A bipartisan prescription drug and heroin abuse bill overcame a procedural hurdle Monday evening as it heads toward a final vote this week. 

Senators voted 86-3 to end the debate on an important amendment. The amendment, once the Senate formally adopts it, will effectively become the opioid bill, replacing the current text of the legislation. 
 
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The overwhelming procedural vote is the latest sign that the opioid abuse bill, from Sens. Rob PortmanRob PortmanSanders: GOP healthcare bill is a 'moral outrage' Opioid crisis threatens GOP ObamaCare repeal A tale of two drug bills — one proposed bill will worsen the drug prices crisis MORE (R-Ohio) and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseSenate panel questions Lynch on alleged FBI interference Judiciary Committee to continue Russia probe after Mueller meeting GOP hits the gas on ObamaCare repeal MORE (D-R.I.), is on a path to clear the upper chamber this week. 
 
Portman told The Hill after the vote that he expects final passage to take place Wednesday.
 
The legislation authorizes funding for programs to combat prescription opioid abuse, in addition to increasing the availability of naloxone, a drug to treat overdose.
 
 
"This is a serious piece of legislation that's been done on a bipartisan basis, and this is a good illustration of how we in the Senate ought to be doing our jobs," he added. 
 
 
Sen. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyDems push for more action on power grid cybersecurity Dem senator: Trump 'doesn't respect' the presidency Overnight Regulation: Labor groups fear rollback of Obama worker protection rule | Trump regs czar advances in Senate | New FCC enforcement chief MORE (D-Mass.), one of the three senators who voted against moving forward Monday evening, suggested he likely wouldn't be able to get a vote on two amendments that he was hoping to attach to the legislation. 
 
"I'm looking forward to continuing to work with my colleagues on the other side of the aisle," he said ahead of the vote. "I believe there is more to be done." 
 
One of the amendments Markey had hoped to get a vote on would require the Food and Drug Administration to convene a review panel for any new opioid medication. 
 
 
Portman suggested that senators — led by Sen. Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleySenate panel questions Lynch on alleged FBI interference The Hill's 12:30 Report GOP senator surprises top Dem with birthday cake MORE (R-Iowa) — were continuing to negotiate on a wide-ranging package of amendments. Votes on additional amendments could come as soon as Tuesday, though no votes are currently scheduled. 
 
"I know that he's interested in a manager's package, and we just talked to the staff a moment ago, and they're interested in processing more amendments," he added.