Senators are aiming for more money to combat the opioid epidemic as Congress inches closer to a bipartisan deal on spending levels.
Several senators have said they want more opioid funding to be included, but talk of exact figures has been on hold while negotiators work on budget caps.
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said he wants to at least keep the minimum dedicated opioid funding that has been made in 2017 and 2018. That extra funding came as part of the 21st Century Cures Act and the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, which Portman sponsored.
“We have been able to get $1.4 billion of additional funding this year and last year,” he told the Washington Examiner. “We want to continue on that and build on that.”
Portman said he would like to add more money for treatment but doesn’t have an exact figure.
Other senators also have pressed for additional funding.
“West Virginia has been ravaged by the opioid epidemic and to address it head on we need to dedicate the funding necessary,” said Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., in a statement Tuesday.
Manchin told the Washington Examiner that he hasn’t centered on a specific number for opioid funding, but hopes that funding is added to a long-term omnibus deal.
Democratic Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire want $25 billion a year in funding to fight opioid abuse. However, Shaheen recently told the Washington Examiner that any talk of exact figures must wait until a caps deal is reached.