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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 PelosiNew Mexico Democrat Stansbury sworn into Haaland's old seat Greene apologizes for comparing vaccine rules to Holocaust Overnight Health Care: Biden pleads for more people to get vaccinated | Harris highlights COVID-19 vaccination safety | Novavax COVID-19 vaccine shown highly effective in trial MORE and Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerThis week: Democrats face fractures in spending fight Pelosi signals no further action against Omar Overnight Energy: EPA to reconsider Trump decision not to tighten soot standards | Interior proposes withdrawal of Trump rule that would allow drillers to pay less | EPA reverses Trump guidance it said weakened 'forever chemicals' regulations 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 KapturThe Memo: Lawmakers on edge after Greene's spat with Ocasio-Cortez Democrats demand Biden administration reopen probe into Tamir Rice's death Create a bulwark against Chinese economic coercion: Advance open RAN in Europe MORE (D-Ohio,), who led the letter, along with Reps. Ann KusterAnn McLane KusterMan charged in Capitol riot says he's running for Congress The Hill's 12:30 Report: Sights and sounds from Inauguration Day Democrats to determine leaders after disappointing election MORE (D-N.H.) and Donald NorcrossDonald W. NorcrossDemocrats renew push for George Floyd Justice in Policing Act The first step to build back better: Give America a raise What's behind the divisions over Biden's secretary of Labor? MORE (D-N.J.).

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