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Budget deal includes $6 billion to fight opioid abuse

Budget deal includes $6 billion to fight opioid abuse
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A bipartisan Senate budget deal includes $6 billion for opioid addiction and mental health, Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerThe first Southern state legalizes marijuana — what it means nationally H.R. 1/S. 1: Democrats defend their majorities, not honest elections McCarthy asks FBI, CIA for briefing after two men on terror watchlist stopped at border MORE (D-N.Y.) said.

Advocates have been calling for more funding to combat the increasing deaths from opioid overdoses, which are now killing more Americans than car accidents.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellRomney blasts end of filibuster, expansion of SCOTUS McConnell, GOP slam Biden's executive order on SCOTUS Overnight Defense: Biden proposes 3B defense budget | Criticism comes in from left and right | Pentagon moves toward new screening for extremists MORE (R-Ky.) and Schumer announced the deal on the Senate floor Wednesday afternoon.

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“This agreement will also bolster our ongoing national struggle against opioid addiction and substance abuse,” McConnell said on the Senate floor. “It will fund new grants, prevention programs and law enforcement efforts in vulnerable communities all across our country.”

In late October, President TrumpDonald TrumpRomney blasts end of filibuster, expansion of SCOTUS McConnell, GOP slam Biden's executive order on SCOTUS US raises concerns about Iran's seriousness in nuclear talks MORE declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency, a move the administration extended another 90 days in mid-January. The move didn’t free up millions of dollars, nor did it include a funding ask to Congress.

Many advocates and Democrats have criticized the measure as not having much of an impact to date, arguing more funding is needed.

New Hampshire Democratic Sens. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenLawmakers express horror at latest Capitol attack Five things to watch on Biden infrastructure plan Democrats wrestle over tax hikes for infrastructure MORE and Maggie HassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanTo encourage innovation, Congress should pass two bills protecting important R&D tax provision Overnight Defense: Biden proposes 3B defense budget | Criticism comes in from left and right | Pentagon moves toward new screening for extremists POW/MIA flag moved back atop White House MORE introduced a proposal in January to provide $25 billion to the opioid epidemic over two years.

Passed in 2016, the 21st Century Cures bill provided $1 billion over two years in state grants to fight the opioid epidemic.

The opioid crisis has hit both urban and rural communities across the country, and overdose deaths increased nearly 28 percent between 2015 and 2016, according to December data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.