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Louis Jacobson
By Louis Jacobson October 24, 2018

Donald Trump wrong that opioid bill didn't get much Democratic backing


Did Democrats try to shirk efforts to pass a bill on opioids that President Donald Trump recently signed? Trump said they did at a rally in Lebanon, Ohio, on Oct. 12.

He said, "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."

Was this a mostly Republican-backed bill?

Not at all. In fact, it garnered as close as you can come to universal support in this politically polarized era.

The bill offered such provisions as barring fentanyl from being imported by mail, expanding the ability of nurses to prescribe medication to counter opioid addiction, and enhanced access to treatment for Medicaid recipients.

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It was originally introduced in June by several House Republicans and Democrats. The Democrats included Reps. Peter DeFazio of Oregon, Richard Neal of Massachusetts, Frank Pallone of New Jersey, and Tim Walz of Minnesota.

The initial version passed the House by a 396-14 margin and the equivalent version passed the Senate by a 99-1 margin. After the chambers ironed out their differences, the final version passed the House 393-8 on Sept. 28 and the Senate 98-1 on Oct. 3. (The only vote against the bill in the Senate — on both versions — was by a Republican, Mike Lee of Utah.)

The bill then went to the president, but he hasn’t officially signed it yet. The New York Times called it "rare bipartisan accord."

The bill’s bipartisan nature was among the top themes in news coverage.

We reached out to the White House but did not hear back.

Our ruling

Trump said the recent opioid bill had "very little Democrat support."

That couldn’t be further from the truth. Virtually every Democrat (and virtually every Republican) voted for the bill on the floor. We rate the statement Pants on Fire.

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Pants on Fire
Says a recent opioid bill that reached his desk had "very little Democrat support."
a rally in Lebanon, Ohio
Friday, October 12, 2018

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Donald Trump wrong that opioid bill didn't get much Democratic backing

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