Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Billby Senator Harry Reid
Posted on 2016-03-03
REID. Mr. President, I have heard my friend the Republican leader
the last couple of days talking about what a good bill we have here. He
is right. It is something that is important to do. We have this opioid
problem sweeping the Nation. It is in Nevada, as well as in all other
States. All the other 49 States have the problem. So I understand the
importance of this legislation. I only wish the Republicans had joined
with us yesterday in voting for the Shaheen amendment, which would have
provided real money to meet the requirements of this legislation, if it
I also know my friend keeps talking about the money we have already appropriated. We did it because there was an emergency then, and there is one now. The programs we have appropriated money for are totally separate and apart from this legislation. That is why Senator Shaheen offered her amendment. It was emergency funding that we badly need. So it is too bad my friends on the other side of the aisle are talking about taking money from other programs and funding this program. That isn't how it should be.
This is a scourge sweeping the country. We have programs in this new legislation that need to be funded, otherwise it won't have any meaning whatsoever to the problem we are facing in the country.
A number of Democrats have also tried to offer amendments. To this point, they have been able to offer one amendment and vote on one amendment. We have had more than 60 amendments filed over here. I know we are not going to have the ability to debate and vote on 60 amendments, but my friend the Republican leader has been out here boasting time and again about this robust amendment process, and it is only talk. We haven't had a robust amendment process.
I wouldn't think robust would mean having seven or eight amendments. We would accept a new definition of robust, I guess, if we got to offer a few amendments, but we should be able to offer amendments on this legislation.
So I hope the Senate will be able to have a full and open amendment process on this legislation. If not, we may not be able to proceed to vote on this legislation, and it would be too bad. Even though the legislation is not funded properly, we should pass it. We are not going to pass it if we get jammed, and that is what is happening.