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Congressman Emanuel Cleaver

Representing the 5th District of MISSOURI

Congressman Cleaver Votes for Legislation to Address the Opioid Epidemic

May 13, 2016
Press Release
However, Congressman Cleaver Points Out That the Legislation Provides Not One Penny of Funding to Save Lives and Expand Treatment, And Insists Funding Be Added in Conference

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Cleaver said today that he was pleased to vote for a package of bipartisan initiatives that are designed to address the opioid epidemic, but is very concerned the package does not contain any funding to implement these initiatives.

“Every day, 78 Americans die due to an opioid overdose,” Congressman Cleaver said. “This is a national epidemic. I am pleased that the House today has passed a package of bipartisan initiatives that are designed to address the crisis. However, the package of bills passed today are only authorizations. They do not contain any new funding for these initiatives.  I will fight for adding new funding resources to address opioid addiction in the House-Senate conference committee.”

Some of the bipartisan initiatives passed today include:

  • Creating a Comprehensive Opioid Abuse Reduction grant program, that would fund prevention, treatment, and recovery services to address opioid addiction.
  • Cutting the risk of opioid addiction among veterans managing chronic pain.
  • Improving the treatment and care of babies who are born addicted to opioids.
  • Creating a grant program to help states increase access to naloxone, a lifesaving opioid overdose reversal drug.
  • Providing information and resources to youth athletes and their families about the dangers of opioid use and abuse.

“I am pleased that we have taken a first step today in addressing the terrible opioid crisis that is affecting tens of thousands of families across this country,” Rep. Cleaver said.  “However, this is only a first step and there is much more that Congress must do.  Over the next few weeks, I will fight hard to add real new funding resources to this authorization package, because it is only with this funding that we will actually begin to make a difference, save lives, and end the opioid addiction crisis.”

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Emanuel Cleaver, II is the U.S. Representative for Missouri’s Fifth Congressional District, which includes Kansas City, Independence, Lee's Summit, Raytown, Grandview, Sugar Creek, Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Oak Grove, North Kansas City, Gladstone, Claycomo, and all of Ray, Lafayette, and Saline Counties. He is a member of the exclusive House Financial Services Committee, the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance, and also a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus. A high-resolution photo of Congressman Cleaver is available here.

For more information, please contact Heather Frierson at 816-842-4545 or Heather.Frierson@mail.house.gov.