Debate Fact Check: “Portman touts anti-heroin measures, even though he voted against their funding”

COLUMBUS, OH – There’s a clear contrast between Ted Strickland Senator Portman when it comes to drug abuse prevention: Portman bragged about drug abuse prevention efforts and then voted against their funding, proposed slashing drug abuse prevention efforts by millions as President Bush’s Budget Director, and voted to cut efforts by millions more in Congress.

See the facts for yourself: Portman touted anti-heroin and opioid abuse bill, but voted against its funding. wrote that Portman “voted against the very bill that would pay for his proposed solutions… Portman aides confirmed to that money for fighting heroin addiction would come from the $1.1 trillion spending bill Congress passed in December, a measure that Portman denounced as wasteful and likely to drive up deficits. This puts the Ohio Republican in an awkward position.” [Cleveland Plain Dealer, 1/27/16]

Akron Beacon Journal: As Office of Management and Budget Director, Portman Slashed Drug Abuse Funding. A report from the Akron Beacon Journal revealed that as OMB Director his budget proposed hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts to substance abuse programs. [Akron Beacon Journal, 2/4/16]

A Recently Released Analysis Shows That Portman Voted To Cut Important Programs For Addressing The Crisis By More Than $800 Million. The calculations of the analysis come from the FY13 and FY14 Ryan budgets, both of which Portman voted for.

Dec. 2015: Portman Voted Against Expanding Coverage For Addiction Treatment, Increasing Resources For Substance Abuse Prevention And Treatment. [CQ,12/3/15; S.Amdt. 2892 to S.Amdt. 2874 to H.R. 3762, Vote 317,12/3/15]

Strickland’s record on drug abuse prevention: tackling the scourge through prevention, enforcement and treatment.

Morning Consult: Strickland Increased Funding For The State Department Of Alcohol And Drug Addiction Services By 4 Percent, Provided Grants To Crack Down On Prescription Drug Abuse, Created Ohio Prescription Drug Abuse Task Force. “As governor, Strickland signed an executive order creating the Ohio Prescription Drug Task Force in 2010. The same year, he set aside $250,000 in grant money for law enforcement to target fraudulent or illegitimate prescribers of pain medication. Strickland also increased funding for the state Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services by 4 percent between 2007 and 2011, from about $181.3 million to $188.7 million.” [Morning Consult, 6/2/16]

Journalist Studying Drug Addiction Lauded Strickland’s Work On Drug Addiction As Governor. “After five years delving into the depths of the opiate epidemic, connecting it from the mouths of Mexican farm boys to the culture of overprescribing pain medication in Ohio, Sam Quinones deduced that an involved, connected, thriving community is a key ingredient to ending it. Quinones, a freelance journalist who spent a decade living in Mexico and another decade writing for the Los Angeles Times, put those five years of conversations and research into a book, ‘Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Heroin Epidemic,’ which has caught the attention of minds across the nation. Many people who work within drug addiction, from police to therapists to state officials, have been reading and recommending the book to others. […] Although there is much to be done yet in Ohio, Quinones views the state as a leader. He credits both Gov. John Kasich and former Gov. Ted Strickland, along with various public employees, including police, treatment providers and coroners, for the positive direction. He's most critical of drug manufacturers.” [Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum, 10/15/15]

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