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 TrumpGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Warren goes local in race to build 2020 movement 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes 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 LeeFed chief urges Congress to expand US workforce while economy still strong On The Money: Retirement savings bill blocked in Senate after fight over amendments | Stopgap bill may set up December spending fight | Hardwood industry pleads for relief from Trump trade war Retirement bill blocked in Senate amid fight over amendments 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the legislation lifts some limits, which lawmakers called outdated, on Medicaid paying for care at addiction treatment facilities.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 McConnellGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Graham: Senate trial 'must expose the whistleblower' Graham says Schiff should be a witness in Trump impeachment trial 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 DonnellyWatchdog accuses pro-Kavanaugh group of sending illegal robotexts in 2018 Lobbying world Trump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand 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 WarrenWarren goes local in race to build 2020 movement 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes 2020 Dems put focus on stemming veteran suicides 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.