House overwhelmingly passes final opioid package
The House on Friday overwhelmingly passed sweeping bipartisan opioid legislation, concluding the chamber’s two-week voteathon on dozens of bills to address the drug abuse epidemic.
The measure combines more than 50 bills approved individually by the House focusing on expanding access to treatment, encouraging the development of alternative pain treatments and curbing the flow of illicit drugs into the U.S. It was passed 396-14, with 13 Republicans and one Democrat voting against the package.
Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) called the legislation, which largely originated in his committee, “the biggest effort Congress has ever undertaken” to address the opioid epidemic. Democrats and anti-addiction advocates criticized the effort for not including more resources, but still supported the legislation.
The bill, which the White House endorsed, now heads to the Senate, where lawmakers are planning to take up their own opioid legislation. A House Republican aide said leadership hopes to conference the bills in July, though it could slide later into the summer depending on the Senate’s schedule. [...]addiction health care finance health law policy public health