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Nov 26, 2016 4:23 PM

Shaheen calls action by Congress on bill to fight opioid crisis 'very promising'


WASHINGTON — Congress will take up a bill for medical research containing $1 billion to fight the opioid epidemic, a prospect U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., called “very promising”.

Shaheen had called for this legislation for medical research, known as the 21st Century Cures Act, to include funds for fighting the rampant epidemic of heroin and opioid overdoses in her own state, reports the Union Leader.

Shaheen fought for the Senate to approve $600 million in emergency spending to go to the same cause last spring. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H. supported the effort, but it failed to get enough votes to prevent a filibuster.

While an earlier effort authored by Ayotte and co-sponsored by Shaheen was signed by President Obama in July, that bill, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, has no up front money, and instead requires funds to go through the Senate budget bill process. This means it shouldn't deliver money to states for at least another 18 months.

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