Senate leader tees up drug abuse bill
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellO'Rourke responds to Buttigieg's gun criticism: 'That calculation and fear is what got us here in the first place' Cicilline on Trump investigations versus legislation: 'We have to do both' The 13 Republicans needed to pass gun-control legislation 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. 
 
ADVERTISEMENT
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. 
 
 
"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 Mason ReidHarry Reid warns Trump 'can be reelected' Homeland Security Republican accuses Navy of withholding UFO info Poll: 47 percent back limits on Senate filibuster 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.