President Obama signed a bill aimed at addressing opioid addiction Friday, though he called out Republicans for the measure’s shortcomings.
Lawmakers in both parties reached a compromise over the bipartisan Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, though Senate Democrats held out hope until the final hour that they could win more funding for treatment.
“This legislation includes some modest steps to address the opioid epidemic,” Obama said in a statement. “Given the scope of this crisis, some action is better than none. However, I am deeply disappointed that Republicans failed to provide any real resources for those seeking addiction treatment to get the care that they need.”
He also noted that GOP lawmakers had blocked an additional $920 million in funding for addiction treatment.
The bill passed the Senate 92-2 last week, with Sens. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) the only dissenters.
Despite overwhelming support, many Democrats are calling for stronger measures to address the crisis.
“My administration has been doing everything we can to increase access to treatment, and I’m going to continue fighting to secure the funding families desperately need,” Obama said in his statement Friday. “In recent days, the law enforcement community, advocates, physicians, and elected officials from both sides of the aisle have also joined in this call.”
“Now, it’s up to Republicans to finish the job and provide adequate funding to deal with this public health crisis,” he added. “That’s what the American people deserve.”