Set the record straight
In September, the U.S. Senate passed landmark legislation to tackle the opioid epidemic in the country.
Included were bans on the import of fentanyl by mail and an expansion of nurses’ ability to prescribe medication to counter opioid addiction.
The issue of fentanyl was addressed in the package by the STOP Act, drafted by Ohio’s Republican senator, Rob Portman and co-sponsored by its Democratic senator, Sherrod Brown. Also included was the CRIB Act, a bipartisan measure, sponsored by Brown and Portman, addressing infants born addicted to opioids.
The package, which overwhelmingly passed in both Houses of Congress and was sent to the president for his signature, was a model of bipartisanship and more of what is needed in our hyper-polarized political landscape.
Both Brown and Portman thanked each other and their cooperation shows one of the most effective teams from any state, even though they come from opposite parties.
But then Donald Trump came to Ohio — and decided to revise history.
Speaking at an Oct. 12 rally in Lebanon, Ohio the president brought up the opioid legislation.
“I’ll soon sign into the law the largest legislative effort in history to address the opioid crisis where just this year we got $6 billion from Congress — thanks to (Ohio Republican Sen.) Rob Portman and a lot of others — thank you, Rob — but Rob and so many others helped. Very little Democrat support,” he told the crowd.
It could not have been further from the truth.
The package passed the House 396-14 and in the Senate, where it passed 99-1, the sole vote of opposition came from Republican Mike Lee of Utah.
Literally every Senate Democrat voted for the package.
There’s no other way to put it, but the president is lying on this.
We urge Portman to speak out and set the record straight on this shameless falsehood the president issued regarding his bill.
And, though it will likely never happen, given his record, we would hope Trump would admit he got the facts wrong and issue a correction.
The crisis is far too serious for partisan games. Trump’s actions, which earned him the “Pants on Fire” rating from fact checking website Politifact, are a disservice to those who are attempting to find common ground and cooperation in addressing the situation.