Skip to Content

Wyden, Walden praise Senate opioid bills passage


Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., praised Wednesday’s nearly unanimous Senate passage of a package of legislation aimed at addressing the country’s serious opioid epidemic.

Wyden said the package includes bills he led through the Senate Finance Committee as its ranking Democrat. The bill will now go to the president’s desk for signature and then become law.

“Oregonians in every corner of our state have been hit hard by our nation’s opioid crisis,” Wyden said. “This legislation takes an important step towards providing real solutions for Oregonians struggling with addiction and giving their families and friends hope that their loved ones will get the help they need. I will continue working with my colleagues in Congress to tackle the roots of this crisis and ensure that all Oregonians have access to quality and affordable treatment and prevention services.”

The SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act, co-authored by Wyden, would provide more prevention efforts, better treatment options for those struggling with opioid addiction, and authorizes additional grants to help communities. The bill would also expand access to telehealth technologies, which would boost access to treatment services for Oregonians beyond rural areas.

The legislation includes policies from the Wyden-led Helping to End Addition and Lessen (HEAL) Substance Use Disorders Act of 2018, which included improvements to Medicare and Medicaid, and human services programs. The HEAL Act was introduced to the Senate Finance Committee by Wyden in June, and passed unanimously.

A section by section summary of the bill can be found here.

Walden said his comprehensive legislation to combat the opioid crisis passed the Senate less than a week after receiving sweeping bipartisan support as it passed in the House. Walden’s SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act (H.R. 6) passed the Senate by a vote of 98-1 Wednesday, bringing the bill one step closer to becoming law.

“After months of bipartisan work, landmark legislation to combat the opioid crisis is now headed to President Trump’s desk,” Walden said. “This comprehensive bill provides critical support to desperate communities in Oregon and all across the country and gives those fighting on the front lines new tools to help treat addiction and slow the flow of illicit drugs across our borders. While there is still much work to be done, this historic effort will undoubtedly save lives and put families and communities across our country on the road to recovery. I look forward to seeing this legislation signed into law and continuing to work with the president to combat the opioid crisis.”

Last week, Walden’s legislation passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 393-8. H.R. 6 will help efforts to advance treatment and recovery initiatives, improve prevention, protect our communities, and bolster our efforts to fight deadly illicit synthetic drugs like fentanyl. This legislation represents the largest Congressional effort to address a single drug crisis in history.

Walden’s legislation now heads to the president’s desk to be signed into law. For more information on H.R. 6, please click here.

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

KTVZ News Team


KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content