12.20.19

ICYMI: Capito Provisions to Combat Opioid Epidemic Included in Appropriations Packages

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), a leader on the Appropriations Committee, today highlighted the measures included in the recently passed spending bills to address the opioid epidemic. Yesterday, the Senate voted to pass two appropriations packages to fully fund the government.

As the fight against opioids continues across our nation, especially in West Virginia, the depth and broad scope of this epidemic has been made evident. Law enforcement, court systems, health systems, educational institutions, recovery centers, job training programs, foster care systems, neighbors, and families have all been impacted by this crisis. As a result, the solutions, as well as the funding needs, have been expansive.

“I am proud to say that the funding measures we passed in the Senate yesterday continue the commitment to solving the problems we face because of the opioid epidemic,” Senator Capito said. “There is perhaps no issue that is addressed more thoroughly in this entire funding measure than the fight against opioids. Because of my request to do so, in several divisions of the bill, funding and emphasis is specifically directed. I will continue to work for these important initiatives on behalf of every West Virginian who has been impacted by this crisis.”  

Measures supporting efforts to combat the opioid epidemic included in each Appropriations Package are included below:

FY2020 CONSOLIDATED NATIONAL SECURITY APPROPRIATIONS PACKAGE 

  • In the Defense division, funding is provided at $893.1 million for the Counter-Drug program, including an additional $20 million for the National Guard Counter-Drug schools program
  • In the Commerce, Justice, Science division, $518 million is included for grant programs that have benefitted many West Virginia entities in the past and are used to combat opioids and other abused substances. Funds were also increased for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF), and the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP), enabling the Department of Justice (DOJ) to investigate and deter the flow of substances throughout West Virginia and the nation.  
  • In the Financial Services General Government division, both the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) and Drug Free Communities programs received funding increases. 
  • In the Homeland division, which, as chair of the subcommittee, Senator Capito helped author, funding is provided for the drug interdiction efforts of the Coast Guard, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Funds are also included to support HSI’s investigative work on the dark web, most notably their partnership with Marshall University. And, the overall support for border security stems from a desire to prevent drugs and drug traffickers from entering our country illegally.

FY2020 CONSOLIDATED DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL ASSISTANCE PACKAGE

  • In the Labor, Health and Human Services division, $5.7 billion is provided for substance use disorder targeted at improving prevention, treatment, and recovery with new flexibility to states to use funding for increased stimulant use such as meth. This is a $3.8 billion increase over FY19 funding and, through specific language Senator Capito authored, distributes funds based on overdose rates rather than population, allowing states most effected more grant funding opportunities.
  • In the Agriculture division, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is increased by $91 million, including an $8 million increase for opioid prevention activities at the International Mailing Facilities
  • In the Energy and Water division, the Appalachian Regional Commission is increased, which includes funds for a pilot program to combat opioid addiction. 
  • In the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs division, funding is included at $402 million for veterans’ medical care focused on opioid misuse prevention and treatment.
  • In the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development division, with an emphasis on homelessness, $2.8 billion is provided for assistance programs, including $80 million for grants and technical assistance to end youth homelessness. Funds are also set aside for transitional housing for persons exiting drug treatment.

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