Jul 11 2018

VIDEO: Blunt Highlights Senate’s Continued Efforts to Fight the Opioid Epidemic

WASHINGTON – Yesterday, U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor/HHS), spoke during the Senate Republican leadership press conference to highlight the Senate’s ongoing efforts to fight the opioid epidemic. Blunt underscored the need to continue moving forward in the appropriations process to help ensure resources are directed toward addressing the nation’s biggest challenges.

In June, Blunt announced that the Labor/HHS appropriations bill for fiscal year 2019 included $3.7 billion in funding for programs targeting the opioid epidemic, including $1.5 billion for state opioid response grants. Blunt also tripled available funding for state opioid response grants in the omnibus appropriations bill, which was signed into law in March. Due to that effort, Missouri is now eligible to receive $28 million in funding this year.

Following are Blunt’s Full Remarks:

Senator Thune mentioned the work in the last work period. We also got, during that last work period, three of the appropriations bills off the floor of both the House and Senate.

We need to get together and get those bills on the president’s desk.

All 12 of the appropriations bills were out of the Senate committee before the end of June, and that work needs to continue to go on.

Things like the opioid crisis hasn’t slowed down, hasn’t been solved yet, still the number one cause of accidental death in the country.

In almost every state, it’s a higher cause of accidental death than auto accidents.

In the last four years, by reprioritizing largely other spending, we’ve increased money available to address this problem by 13 times.

But for that money to be available to the states, and a lot of it’s available in state-by-state grants, where states can try to do things that work in their state, and then share that information with other people.

For that money to be available, we need to get these bills passed as well. And so hopefully we’ll continue to work, House and Senate, to get some of these bills on the president’s desk, and to see that the problems that we’re trying to solve, with the priorities we’ve set, get solved.

CLICK HERE To Watch Senator Blunt’s Remarks