The Senate on Monday voted 86-3 to advance the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), USA Today reports. A vote on the final passage of the bill is expected this week.
The measure has not yet been taken up by the House, the article notes.
The Act is sponsored by Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, a Democrat, and Rob Portman of Ohio, a Republican. The bill has bipartisan support and would expand prescription drug take-back programs and establish monitoring to prevent over-prescribing of opioid painkillers. It would expand the availability of medication-assisted treatment, including in criminal justice settings, and would support treatment as an alternative to incarceration.
The measure also calls for training and equipping first responders on the use of the opioid overdose-reversal drug naloxone.
CARA calls for spending as much as $80 million on treatment, prevention and recovery. It does not include actual funding, which would have to come through an appropriations bill.
Last week the Senate voted against an amendment to CARA that would have added $600 million in funding. The amendment was sponsored by Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, a Democrat. Senate Democrats said they will not block the legislation over funding.
The Obama Administration recently voiced concern over the lack of funding in the bill.