Portman Praises Senate Passage of New Opioid Funding

September 18, 2018 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) announced that the FY 2019 Department of Defense, Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies conference report that passed the Senate today includes $3.7 billion in new funding to help combat the opioid epidemic, including $232 million in funding for several evidence-based programs authorized by Portman’s Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act (CARA) in 2016. Portman issued the following statement:  

“This is good news for Ohio and the millions of Americans who continue to struggle with addiction. I’m particularly pleased that the legislation approved by the Senate today includes $60 million for states to develop an infant plan of safe care to help newborns exposed to opioids and their families, as well as $30 million for drug treatment grants for pregnant and postpartum women. I’m also pleased that there is $36 million for grants to equip first responders with Naloxone.  We are making progress in increasing resources for CARA programs that we know work, and I look forward to the president signing this into law in the coming weeks.” 

NOTE: Senator Portman has led efforts in the U.S. Senate to provide more resources to combat the nation’s opioid epidemic.  Whether it was authoring the Drug-Free Communities Act to help stand up community-based coalitions to prevent drug abuse during his time in the House of Representatives, enacting signature legislation like his bipartisan Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act (CARA) in 2016, pushing for the overwhelming 99-1 bipartisan vote last night to pass his Synthetics Trafficking & Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act to combat the rise of fentanyl, or fighting for additional opioid funding for Ohio, Portman has taken a leadership role in fighting for more effective resources to combat this epidemic. 

Over the past year, much of the additional opioid funding that Portman has fought for has begun to provide direct assistance to those on the frontlines in Ohio.  Portman’s CARA law authorized an additional $181 million annually in discretionary spending for new programs to support evidenced-based prevention, treatment and recovery programs.  The most recent FY 2018 bipartisan funding agreement actually funded these CARA programs at $608 million, much higher than the authorized amount.  Portman’s CARA 2.0 Act would increase these authorization levels further.  In addition, Portman worked to secure $1 billion in new funding for state grants to fight opioid abuse in the 21st Century CURES ActHe’s also fought for more overall opioid funding, and helped secure approximately $3 billion in new opioid funding in the most recent bipartisan funding agreement.