The Obama administration said Thursday it plans to announce “a significant federal investment” to fight opioid abuse, just hours after a final failed attempt by Senate Democrats to add federal funding to legislation on the issue.
Department of Health and Human Secretary (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell will reveal the additional federal funding in Baltimore, flanked by Sen. Barbara MikulskiBarbara Ann MikulskiHarris invites every female senator to dinner next week Will the real Lee Hamiltons and Olympia Snowes please stand up? Bottom line MORE (D-Md.) and Maryland Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford (R).
Burwell will speak one day after the Senate passed a bill on opioid abuse that GOP leaders have pitched as Congress’s most substantial work to date to fight drug abuse. The bill has been criticized by Democrats and the White House for lacking new funding.
All but one senator voted Thursday to support the bill, ending several weeks of opposition by Senate Democrats, who pressed for about $600 million in additional federal funding.
Democrats — led by Sens. Bob CaseyRobert (Bob) Patrick CaseyHouse passes bill to ensure abortion access in response to Texas law Democrats surprised, caught off guard by 'framework' deal Bipartisan senators to hold hearing on 'toxic conservatorships' amid Britney Spears controversy MORE (D-Pa.), Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownBiden taps big bank skeptic to for top regulatory post Schumer announces Senate-House deal on tax 'framework' for .5T package Senate Democrats seeking information from SPACs, questioning 'misaligned incentives' MORE (D-Ohio) and Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseDemocrats draw red lines in spending fight What Republicans should demand in exchange for raising the debt ceiling Climate hawks pressure Biden to replace Fed chair MORE (D-R.I.) — took a final stand on the Senate floor Thursday morning, blasting Republicans for blocking their efforts to add more funding to the bill. All three eventually supported it.
The White House had also taken a stand against the bill, which spokesman Josh Earnest said did not include enough funding to begin addressing the problem. Still, he fell short of a direct veto threat.
Burwell, who hails from West Virginia, a state ravaged by drug abuse, has said she feels personally connected to the issue. She will also spend time Friday touring Baltimore's Chase Brexton Health Services clinic, which offers substance abuse services.