House aims at campaign-season bills battling opioid abuse

June 12, 2018 - 12:34 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House is diving into a two-week vote-a-thon on dozens of bills aimed at opioids abuse.

The move comes as lawmakers seek to expand efforts to curb addiction — and return home with a relatively easy win they can tout before the midterm elections.

Underscoring the effort's popularity, most of the 39 bills the House will vote on this week are bipartisan and not controversial, but also modest.

One contentious Republican-written measure would create new criminal penalties for making or trafficking certain synthetic drugs containing powerful fentanyl. Democrats say the legislation would give the government unfettered power to decide which drugs would be banned, without scientific input.

Other bills would let the government repay student loans for treatment workers who agree to serve in hard-hit communities.

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