New Hampshire senators react to President Donald Trump’s remarks about opioid epidemic

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New Hampshire senators Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan issued statements following President Trump’s remarks at Manchester Community College regarding the opioid epidemic.

Shaheen said she hopes the announcement means good news for New Hampshire families.

“I support many of the policies that the President put forward in a draft plan prior to his speech, much of which was recommended by the President’s opioid commission last year. What’s been missing is follow through. We need the President to commit to providing the resources necessary to win this fight. Today, Congress is finalizing a government funding bill that embodies a bipartisan agreement to increase funding to those on the frontlines of this crisis. But, that’s only a first step. President Trump must lead a national effort. If he does that, there will be broad bipartisan support. ”

A member of the Common Sense Caucus, Shaheen recently helped negotiate the bipartisan budget agreement that includes a commitment of $6 billion to respond to the opioid epidemic over the next two years, with $3 billion being provided each year.

Senator Maggie Hassan also released a statement, saying the President’s proposal includes important policies to help strengthen treatment, prevention, recovery, and law enforcement efforts, which include many policies she ahs long supported and has already introduced legislation to implement.

“I’m particularly glad that the proposal focuses on reducing the overprescribing of opioids, boosting treatment capacity, and cracking down on the illicit flow of fentanyl and other substances through our mail. However, in November, the White House opioid commission also released a strong plan, most of which hasn’t been acted on yet, and it is critical that we see actual follow-through on this proposal.

“While there are many strong components of this proposal, this is not a crisis that we can solve just by being tougher on drug dealers – although we need to do that – and I am concerned that the President does not seem to fully appreciate that we cannot arrest our way out of this crisis. I am also concerned that the President has not yet forcefully advocated for the robust federal investment it will take to help combat this crisis. The $6 billion in opioid funding I worked to secure in the budget agreement is an important step, but we need Presidential leadership in pushing for the significant additional funding that it will ultimately take to help stem – and ultimately reverse – the tide of this epidemic.”

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