Portman Fails to Secure Adequate Funding to Tackle Drug Abuse Prevention, Misleads About Amount of Funding

COLUMBUS, OH –– Moments ago, Senator Portman bragged about securing $37 million to tackle the drug abuse epidemic, but here are the facts: the bill Senator Portman voted for includes only a fraction of the amount he is claiming and fails to provide adequate resources for this critical challenge. 

From Senator Portman’s press release: “Senate Passes $37 million in New Opioid Funding.” 

From Roll Call: “Since the $37 million is for the entire year, they say that roughly one-fifth, or about $7 million, can actually be distributed in the 10 weeks that the CR is in effect.” 

From David Bergstein, Strickland Campaign Spokesman: “First Senator Portman bragged about drug abuse prevention efforts that he voted against funding, and now he’s misleading Ohioans about his total failure to secure the real resources needed to tackle this epidemic. This kind of self-interested and dishonest, D.C. double-talk from Senator Portman is exactly what frustrates Ohioans about the dysfunctional politics of Washington -- communities across our state need legitimate funding to tackle the scourge of heroin and drug abuse, not a dishonest and self-serving press release from Senator Portman.” 

JUST THE FACTS: PORTMAN BRAGGED ABOUT DRUG ABUSE PREVENTION EFFORTS HE VOTED AGAINST FUNDING, SLASHED MILLIONS IN DRUG ABUSE PREVENTION FUNDING 

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

  • 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]

  • Ohio leaders spoke out against Portman’s record of opposing funding to combat the heroin epidemic. The Chillicothe Gazette wrote, “Democrats, including Chillicothe's mayor, slammed Sen. Rob Portman's record on drug abuse funding Friday, saying his rhetoric doesn't match his congressional votes… ‘Rob Portman talks about the challenge of drug abuse and brags about his efforts, but then he votes against funding to actually help solve the problem,’ said Ohio Democratic Party Executive Director Greg Beswick.”

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