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 PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanWeek ahead in tech: Debate over online sex trafficking bill heats up 'Hillbilly Elegy' author won't run for Senate Brown, Portman urge Trump administration to move quickly on a steel decision MORE (R-Ohio) and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseJuan Williams: Momentum builds against gerrymandering Overnight Regulation: FTC launches probe into Equifax | Dems propose tougher data security rules | NYC aims to slash greenhouse gas emissions | EPA to reconsider Obama coal ash rule Overnight Cybersecurity: Kaspersky to testify before House | US sanctions Iranians over cyberattacks | Equifax reveals flaw that led to hack 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. 
 
 
 
"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. 
 
 
 
"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.