Rep. Zeldin Announces that CARA Passed House, One Step Closer to Being Signed into Law
(Long Island, NY) Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1), member of the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic, announced today that the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, or CARA, conference report (S. 524) was passed by the House with a bipartisan vote of 407-5. The House and Senate previously passed two similar versions of this bill, which Congressman Zeldin cosponsors. The conference report, which resolves the differences between the two House and Senate bills, passed the House today and will now be sent to the Senate for a final vote. Upon Senate passage, CARA will be sent to the President to be signed into law.
The CARA conference report provides a total of $8.3 billion in funding to help combat the heroin and opioid epidemic. Major provisions of the bill include: $80 million in funding to help prevent and treat addiction on a local level through community-based education, prevention, treatment and recovery programs; $160 million for the expansion of medication-assisted treatment options; and $103 million to establish a community-based competitive grant program to address and treat the problems of heroin and opioid addiction and abuse. The bill would also provide the funding necessary to expand prescription drug monitoring across the country, and provide funding to supply our police force and emergency medical responders with higher quantities of Naloxone, a medication that is proven to reverse an opioid overdose.
Congressman Zeldin said, “As a cosponsor of CARA, I have been a vocal supporter of this bill since it was first introduced at the beginning of last year. Over the past year, as a member of the Bipartisan Task Force to Combat the Heroin Epidemic, I have worked closely with our local community, hosting multiple drug task force round tables here on Long Island, to bring together local elected officials, law enforcement, health professionals, community groups, parents, concerned residents and those in recovery, to discuss and develop a more localized solution to address this crisis. Together, we’ve expressed our strong commitment to advance CARA in the House of Representatives to help combat the growing drug epidemic that is sweeping across our island, state and nation; a crisis that has been spreading at rapid rates leaving behind a terrible wake of devastation and suffering — taking lives, tearing families apart, and destroying communities. Now, with House passage of this conference report, we are one step closer to getting this bill signed into law by the President. I implore the Senate to act quickly to pass this bill, so that we can start providing the necessary resources to those in need. While there is not just one piece of legislation that will solve this crisis, we must always continue our fight to provide our local communities with the resources necessary to help stop and prevent drug abuse through treatment, enforcement, and education.”