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Shaheen amendment to CARA rejected

March 3, 2016
by Julie Miller, Editor in Chief
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The amendment to the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2015 (CARA) (S. 524/H.R. 953) proposed by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) that aimed to provide $600 million in emergency funding for addiction prevention, treatment and recovery was rejected 48-to-47 in the Senate. Sixty votes were needed to pass it.

According to national reports, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), a co-sponsor of the Shaheen amendment, ultimately plans to propose a smaller amount of emergency money. Discussion of additional amendments to CARA continues in the Senate.

Republicans have pointed out that there is funding available through the spending bill passed in December 2015 that could be used for CARA implementation. Some have questioned whether Democrats would still support the bill without the emergency cash, but now that the Shaheen amendment is off the table, the perspective may have changed.

The bipartisan legislation authorizes funding for treatment and recovery programs, including greater use of naloxone, but it does not actually appropriate funding.

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