WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) applauded the Senate leadership for agreeing to vote on bipartisan opioid legislation next week, including Portman’s bipartisan STOP Act as well as his bipartisan CRIB Act and a number of initiatives from his bipartisan CARA 2.0 Act, which builds on the progress of his Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act (CARA) that became law in 2016.  Portman issued the following statement: 

I am pleased that the Senate has agreed to vote on a comprehensive opioids package to help turn the tide of this epidemic.  This crisis affects every state in our country, and this legislation’s unanimous passage is an encouraging example of putting partisanship aside to achieve meaningful results for our constituents. There are a number of ways to combat this opioid epidemic, and this legislation will help our communities combat addiction in new and powerful ways. 

“Across Ohio, what I hear as I meet with those on the frontlines of this crisis is that we need to combat the influx of fentanyl if we truly want to overcome this epidemic. That’s why it is so important that we quickly pass the STOP Act and close the loophole in our international mail screening that drug traffickers are exploiting to ship fentanyl into our communities. This bipartisan bill will combat the rise of the newest and deadliest drugs of this epidemic—fentanyl—and give more Americans who are gripped by addiction the chance to live up to their God-given potential. I look forward to President Trump signing this legislation into law so it can begin making a difference in Ohio and across the country.”  

NOTE: The comprehensive opioid legislation to be considered by the Senate includes a number of Portman bills and priorities, including: 

  • The Synthetics Trafficking & Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act, which will help stop dangerous synthetic drugs like fentanyl and carfentanil from being shipped through our borders to drug traffickers here in the United States. The Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI), which Portman chairs, conducted an 18-month investigation into this issue and released a shocking bipartisan report detailing how drug traffickers exploit vulnerabilities in our international mail system to easily ship synthetic drugs like fentanyl from China into the United States though the U.S. Postal Service. The STOP Act will close the loophole that has allowed this to happen by holding the U.S. Postal Service to the same screening standard as private mail carriers and requiring them to provide Advance Electronic Data on international packages entering the U.S. This will allow law enforcement to identify suspicious packages, stop them in transit, test them, and keep more fentanyl from entering our communities. 
  • The CRIB Act to help newborns suffering from addiction recover in the best care setting and provide support for their families. The bipartisan bill would recognize residential pediatric recovery facilities as providers under Medicaid, allowing Medicaid to cover services in these facilities in addition to hospitals. Portman recently visited CommQuest Recovery Services in Massillon, which is standing up a ‘Mom and Me’ program to help mothers struggling with addiction heal in a home-like setting with their children, as well as Brigid’s Path in Dayton, which provides short-term, inpatient care in a home-like setting for newborns suffering from prenatal drug exposure. Both would benefit from the CRIB Act.  
  • The legislation includes a number of provisions from Portman’s bipartisan CARA 2.0 legislation, including establishing national recovery housing standards, supporting recovery support programs for high school and college students struggling with addiction, and authorizing $60 million for a plan of safe care for babies born dependent on substances. 
  • In addition, the bill also reauthorizes a number of important programs that have a proven record of success, like the Office of National Drug Control Policy, Drug Courts, Drug-Free Community prevention grants, and High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas grants, which focus on drug interdiction.  In 1997, Portman authored the Drug-Free Communities Act, which supports evidence-based, community-oriented drug prevention programs. 

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