Senate sends bipartisan package to fight opioid epidemic to Trump's desk

Senate sends bipartisan package to fight opioid epidemic to Trump's desk
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The Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan bill aimed at fighting the opioid crisis, sending the measure to President TrumpDonald John TrumpFacebook releases audit on conservative bias claims Harry Reid: 'Decriminalizing border crossings is not something that should be at the top of the list' Recessions happen when presidents overlook key problems MORE’s desk.

The Upper Chamber passed the bill by a vote of 98-1, capping months of work on the measure and gaining a bipartisan achievement in the midst of a fiercely partisan battle over the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeMcConnell, allies lean into Twitter, media 'war' Conservatives buck Trump over worries of 'socialist' drug pricing Criminal justice reform should extend to student financial aid MORE (R-Utah) was the only senator to oppose the bill. 

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The 660-page bill includes a range of measures aimed at fighting the opioid addiction crisis.

the legislation lifts some limits, which lawmakers called outdated, on Medicaid paying for care at addiction treatment facilities. It cracks down on illicit opioids being imported by mail from other countries and fueling the epidemic.

The legislation also lifts limits on nurse practitioners and other providers being able to prescribe the addiction treatment drug buprenorphine.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellPelosi, Schumer press for gun screenings as Trump inches away The malware election: Returning to paper ballots only way to prevent hacking First House Republican backs bill banning assault weapons MORE (R-Ky.) on Wednesday said the bill is “set to deliver major relief to the American communities that have been decimated by the scourge of substance abuse and addiction.”

He called the bill “a landmark package that will deliver critical resources to establish opioid-specific recovery centers and equip local medical practitioners.”

More than 42,000 people were killed by opioids in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In the House, Republican incumbents in tough reelection races touted their work on the bill, while in the Senate more Democratic incumbents lauded the progress.

For example, Sen. Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyLobbying world Trump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand GOP frets over nightmare scenario for Senate primaries MORE (D-Ind.), who faces a tough race in a state President Trump won handily in 2016, praised the bill from the Senate floor Wednesday and pointed to the inclusion of provisions he worked on.

Some Democrats say the bill is a good first step but more work still needs to be done, including more funding.

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenHarry Reid: 'Decriminalizing border crossings is not something that should be at the top of the list' Warren offers plan to repeal 1994 crime law authored by Biden Panel: Jill Biden's campaign message MORE (D-Mass.), for example, has a bill to provide $100 billion to fight the crisis over 10 years, saying a larger, more sustained investment is necessary.