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Statement of Administration Policy: Senate Amendment to H.R. 6 - Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018

September 17, 2018


(Sen. Alexander, R-TN)

The Administration supports ongoing bipartisan efforts in the Congress to pass legislation that complements its efforts to end the opioid crisis. Addressing the deadly opioid epidemic, which is claiming lives across the Nation, continues to be a top priority of the Administration, and President Donald J. Trump has urged the Congress to pass comprehensive legislation aimed at stopping opioid abuse and reducing opioid supply and demand. The Administration strongly supports passage of the Senate Amendment to H.R. 6, the Opioids Crisis Response Act of 2018, which would advance the Trump Administration's whole-of-government approach to the opioid crisis that American patients and families need and deserve.

The Amendment targets the opioid epidemic with a broad array of measures designed to save lives and protect patients. The Amendment would enable the Administration to leverage the resources of Federal agencies to advance promising research to develop new non-addictive pain management options and opioid alternatives, and would promote innovative solutions to expand access to evidence-based opioid treatments and patient-centered care. The Amendment would provide expanded access to medications that treat addiction or reverse overdoses and it would improve training for the first responders who are on the front lines battling this crisis every day.

Critically, the Amendment includes the Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act, which was passed by the House in June. The STOP Act would provide new tools for customs and law enforcement agencies to stop the importation of synthetic drugs through the United States Postal Service. The 21st-century model of drug trafficking uses low-volume, high-value synthetics, such as fentanyl and its analogues, to make addiction more pervasive than ever, endangering millions of lives globally. A key priority of this Administration is to stop these dangerous synthetic drugs from flowing into American communities through the mail.

The Amendment would also take additional steps to reduce the number of illegal opioids and excess prescription opioids that are available in our communities, requiring additional data sharing to address over-prescribing, authorizing new efforts to support community efforts to reduce the availability of illicit opioids on their streets, and ensuring that participants in Federal programs receive evidence-based healthcare that mitigates addiction risk as much as possible.

In June, the Administration proudly supported House passage of H.R. 6, which received overwhelming bipartisan support. Both H.R. 6 and the Senate Amendment to H.R. 6 would help address the opioid crisis head-on. The Administration commends the Senate on taking up this important bill.

The House, however, passed a number of bills that contained certain important provisions to address the opioid crisis that were not included in the Senate Amendment. The Administration looks forward to working with both chambers as the legislative process continues to ensure that key provisions from the House are retained.

The Administration supports Senate passage of the Senate Amendment to H.R. 6, and looks forward to working with the Congress to address the opioid crisis as the legislative process continues.

Donald J. Trump, Statement of Administration Policy: Senate Amendment to H.R. 6 - Opioid Crisis Response Act of 2018 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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