The bill is a rare bipartisan achievement for Congress
The Senate passed the final version of a sweeping opioids package Wednesday afternoon and will send it to the White House just in time for lawmakers to campaign on the issue before the November midterm elections.
The vote was 98 to 1, with only Utah Sen. Mike Lee (R) opposing it.
The bill unites dozens of smaller proposals sponsored by hundreds of lawmakers, many of whom face tough reelection fights. It creates, expands and reauthorizes programs and policies across almost every federal agency, aiming to address different aspects of the opioid epidemic, including prevention, treatment and recovery.
It is one of Congress’s most significant legislative achievements this year, a rare bipartisan response to a growing public health crisis that resulted in 72,000 drug-overdose deaths last year. It marks a moment of bipartisan accomplishment at an especially rancorous time on Capitol Hill as senators debate Brett M. Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.
“We are in the midst of contentious disagreement about the Supreme Court. But at the same time, we have an urgent, bipartisan consensus, a virtually unanimous agreement, to deal with the most urgent public health epidemic facing our country today in virtually every community,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate health committee and lead sponsor of the bill. [Read More @ Washington Post]