House Dems call on leadership to prioritize opioid epidemic

More than 60 House Democrats are urging leadership to make the opioid crisis a top priority in the new Congress. 

The Democrats said Congress should dedicate more funding and staff to addressing the crisis, which killed 47,600 people in 2017. 

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"At a time when our state and local partners are begging for federal assistance to combat the opioid crisis in their communities, Congress must answer the call through increased resources, creative solutions, and with more legislative staff," the Democrats wrote in a letter to Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D'Alesandro PelosiThe Hill's Morning Report — Washington readies for Mueller end game Dem divisions deepen over approach to climate change 2020 Dems avoid this year's AIPAC conference MORE and Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerOvernight Defense: Top Marine warns border deployment could hurt readiness | McSally aims for sexual assault reforms in defense bill | House to vote on measure opposing transgender ban | New warning over F-35 sale to Turkey House Dems unveil measure to reject anti-Israel boycotts House to vote on measure opposing transgender military ban MORE. "Dedicated staff across House committees capable of analyzing both the larger federal need and specifics from states and districts is necessary at this point." 

Congress passed a massive bill last session increasing access to treatment and recovery, but Democrats and some Republicans wanted more funding for the crisis. 

“Despite previous Congressional efforts to provide more resources to combat the opioid crisis to states and communities across this nation, there is much more to do,” said Rep. Marcy KapturMarcia (Marcy) Carolyn KapturOvernight Energy: Wheeler weathers climate criticism at confirmation hearing | Dems want Interior to stop drilling work during shutdown | 2018 was hottest year for oceans House Dems call on leadership to prioritize opioid epidemic Lawmakers shrug off shutdown drama MORE (D-Ohio,), who led the letter, along with Reps. Ann KusterAnn McLane KusterOn Trump's big night, Democratic congresswomen in white stole the spotlight Trump gets dose of new political reality at State of the Union Female House lawmakers 'raise roof' after Trump touts their victories MORE (D-N.H.) and Donald NorcrossDonald W. NorcrossNew Jersey Dems tell Pentagon not to use military funds for border wall Rep. Beyer: What I learned In Central America House Dems call on leadership to prioritize opioid epidemic MORE (D-N.J.).

"To build on local, regional, or state successes, it is vital we prioritize substantial and comprehensive measures and strategies."