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 PelosiVulnerable Democrats tout legislative wins, not impeachment Photographer leaves Judiciary hearing after being accused of taking photos of member notes Overnight Health Care — Presented by That's Medicaid — House passes sweeping Pelosi bill to lower drug prices | Senate confirms Trump FDA pick | Trump officials approve Medicaid work requirements in South Carolina MORE and Majority Leader Steny HoyerSteny Hamilton HoyerOn The Money: Lawmakers strike spending deal | US, China reach limited trade deal ahead of tariff deadline | Lighthizer fails to quell GOP angst over new NAFTA Lawmakers strike spending deal to avert shutdown Vulnerable Democrats feel heat ahead of impeachment vote 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 KapturAppropriators face crucial weekend to reach deal Congress races to beat deadline on shutdown Overnight Defense: Trump clashes with Macron at NATO summit | House impeachment report says Trump abused power | Top Dem scolds military leaders on Trump intervention in war crimes cases MORE (D-Ohio,), who led the letter, along with Reps. Ann KusterAnn McLane KusterCast and crew of 'Unbelievable' join lawmakers to advocate for reducing DNA, rape kit backlog House Democrats inch toward majority support for impeachment Katherine Clark quietly eyes leadership ascent MORE (D-N.H.) and Donald NorcrossDonald W. NorcrossHere are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment WHIP LIST: The 228 House Democrats backing an impeachment inquiry 2020 Presidential Endorsements MORE (D-N.J.).

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