Congressional Corner




March 1, 2018

Federal Budget Update

Congress is continuing work on developing an omnibus appropriations bill to fund the federal government for FY18. According to media reports, it is possible that Congress will need to approve another short-term continuing resolution to fund the government beyond March 23.

White House Opioid Event

On March 1, the White House hosted a summit on steps being taken to address the opioid crisis. HHS Secretary Alex Azar presented at a summit, along with other cabinet members. ASTHO will provide more information on the summit in next week’s Congressional Corner.

Opioid Legislation

This week, a bipartisan group of senators introduced The CARA Act of 2018. CARA 2.0 builds on the original CARA by increasing the funding authorization levels to better coincide with the recent budget agreement. Coupled with policy changes to strengthen the federal government’s response to this crisis, CARA 2.0 authorizes $1 billion in dedicated resources to evidence-based prevention, enforcement, treatment, and recovery programs. Senators introducing the bill include: Rob Portman (R-OH), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and Maria Cantwell (D-WA).


Yesterday, the House Energy and Commerce committee held a hearing entitled “Combating the Opioid Crisis: Helping Communities Balance Enforcement and Patient Safety.” The hearing focused on enforcement issues. This is the first in a series of hearings on the opioid crisis that this committee will hold to examine legislation aimed at slowing the opioid crisis.