STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Senate Democrats demand answers on opioid crisis efforts

Saying the Trump administration has yet to offer any new funds to fight the growing opioid epidemic, some Senate Demo...

Posted: Feb 2, 2018 2:52 AM
Updated: Feb 2, 2018 2:53 AM

Saying the Trump administration has yet to offer any new funds to fight the growing opioid epidemic, some Senate Democrats are demanding answers about what the White House is doing to address the problem.

Though President Donald Trump declared it a public health emergency in October, the Democrats charge, little is known about the measures being taken to address the crisis that the government says resulted in an estimated 64,000 overdose deaths in 2016.

19 Senate Democrats sent a letter to the Government Accountability Office

They took aim at the fact that no new money has been allocated to address the epidemic

"Given the severity of the crisis, we have grown increasingly concerned by reports that the President has done little to make use of his public health emergency declaration, leaving state and local communities without the resources they need to fight the opioid epidemic," says a letter signed by 19 Democrats that was sent Tuesday to the Government Accountability Office.

The office is a nonpartisan government watchdog that investigates federal spending and performance. The senators took particular aim at the fact that no new money has been allocated "to address the epidemic, in spite of bipartisan calls from governors and legislators that it do so."

They also sought accountability on what resources are available and the processes the administration is following to track its actions since declaring the public health emergency.

In his State of the Union address Tuesday, Trump pledged that the issue remains a top domestic priority.

"It is terrible. We have to do something," he said. "My administration is committed to fighting the drug epidemic and helping get treatment for those in need, for those who've been so terribly hurt. The struggle will be long and it will be difficult -- but, as Americans always do, in the end, we will succeed. We will prevail."

Trump formed a bipartisan opioid commission in March to study the problem, and it came up with a list of 56 recommendations, including setting up nationwide drug courts to help place substance abusers into treatment rather than sending them into the prison system.

But former Rep. Patrick Kennedy, one of six members of the commission, recently told CNN that the Republican-led Congress had turned its work into a "charade" and a "sham."

He blasted Trump for not setting aside new money to tackle the crisis and took sharp aim at Congress for recent tax cuts, saying the country "would lose more money in a year than we could spend in a decade to solve this crisis."

"This and the administration's other efforts to address the epidemic are tantamount to reshuffling chairs on the Titanic," Kennedy said.

"The emergency declaration has accomplished little, because there's no funding behind it. You can't expect to stem the tide of a public health crisis that is claiming over 64,000 lives per year without putting your money where your mouth is."

West Lafayette
Clear
26° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 26°
Kokomo
Clear
26° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 19°
Rensselaer
Clear
23° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 16°
Fowler
Clear
23° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 16°
Williamsport
Clear
26° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 26°
Crawfordsville
Clear
26° wxIcon
Hi: 47° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 26°
Frankfort
Clear
27° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 27°
Delphi
Clear
22° wxIcon
Hi: 45° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 22°
Monticello
Clear
22° wxIcon
Hi: 44° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 22°
Logansport
Clear
25° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 28°
Feels Like: 25°
Mild Conditions Ahead
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 344373

Reported Deaths: 5864
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion46886885
Lake29643475
Allen19836332
Elkhart18265242
St. Joseph18122242
Hamilton14617175
Vanderburgh10672129
Tippecanoe964833
Porter903491
Johnson7267175
Hendricks6961162
Vigo6513103
Monroe582653
Madison5580124
Clark554881
Delaware5299107
LaPorte5100101
Kosciusko491745
Howard390578
Bartholomew361665
Warrick353673
Wayne351190
Floyd341978
Marshall323348
Cass315832
Grant309052
Hancock297662
Noble278949
Boone270356
Henry268740
Dubois257432
Jackson247834
Dearborn244232
Morgan244144
Gibson211130
Shelby208659
Knox199922
Clinton197723
DeKalb197638
Lawrence197549
Wabash187523
Adams184524
Miami183117
Daviess170345
Montgomery164329
Jasper162013
Fayette161735
Steuben160815
Ripley160621
Harrison159624
LaGrange154033
Whitley152316
White143624
Huntington142810
Decatur140745
Putnam140629
Wells139233
Randolph136823
Clay136626
Jefferson134716
Posey131618
Scott120723
Greene114553
Jay110415
Sullivan107718
Jennings100415
Starke99126
Spencer9418
Fulton92019
Fountain8978
Perry87721
Washington8658
Franklin78427
Carroll76913
Orange73928
Vermillion7069
Owen6879
Parke6636
Tipton65627
Rush6198
Newton60813
Blackford60114
Pike55220
Pulaski47018
Benton4113
Brown3945
Martin3836
Crawford3301
Union2962
Switzerland2745
Warren2683
Ohio2467
Unassigned0266

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events