While a congressional committee works to hammer out a compromise on a final opioid bill to send to the president’s desk for signature, the longstanding fight over its funding continues. Democrats have attempted to attach emergency funding to the measure and on Wednesday advocated for a $920 million appropriation. So far, they have not been successful.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest in his briefing on Wednesday said the president might not sign the bill without appropriated funding.
“But if there is a bill that reaches the president’s desk that is geared toward fighting the opioid epidemic but doesn’t include any funding, I certainly cannot promise that the president would sign it," Earnest said. "So we’ll see what they do, but hopefully Republicans in Congress will listen to the calls from Democrats and Republicans alike who are asking for more resources to deal with this significant emergency.”
The Senate passed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 (CARA) in March, and the House passed its own parallel package of bills in May.