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 PelosiJohnson eyes Irish border in Brexit negotiations Mueller report fades from political conversation Five key players in Trump's trade battles MORE and Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerOmar says US should reconsider aid to Israel Liberal Democrat eyes aid cuts to Israel after Omar, Tlaib denied entry Lawmakers blast Trump as Israel bars door to Tlaib and Omar 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 KapturHouse passes legislation aimed at stabilizing multiemployer pension plans Critics worry Trump turning blind eye to honeybee decline House panel advances billion energy bill, defying Trump MORE (D-Ohio,), who led the letter, along with Reps. Ann KusterAnn McLane KusterHouse Democrats inch toward majority support for impeachment Katherine Clark quietly eyes leadership ascent Key endorsements: A who's who in early states MORE (D-N.H.) and Donald NorcrossDonald W. NorcrossHere are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment WHIP LIST: The 126 House Democrats backing an impeachment inquiry Biden, Harris lead in 2020 endorsements MORE (D-N.J.).

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